On February 4, 2013, Sheriff Grady Judd and members of PCSO senior staff (Captains and above) during their monthly staff meeting recognized 34-year-old Ian Walcott of Lakeland with a Sheriff's Commendation for his life-saving efforts when a PCSO deputy was choking last October.
The commendation reads:
On October 28, 2012, Deputy Sheriff Dan Hughes was in uniform on a meal break at the Golden Corral Restaurant in north Lakeland. While eating, a piece of food became lodged in his throat. Realizing the food was blocking his airway and preventing him from breathing, he stood up and began walking toward a sink.
After walking a short distance, Deputy Hughes began to feel disoriented, as if he was going to lose consciousness, and began leaning on a wall to steady himself. As a patron of the restaurant, Ian Walcott noticed Deputy Hughes was in distress, and approached him and asked the deputy if he was choking. When the deputy nodded to the affirmative, Mr. Walcott asked him if he could perform the Heimlich Maneuver in an attempt to dislodge the food stuck in his airway. The deputy again nodded. Mr. Walcott began performing the Heimlich Maneuver, and was able to dislodge the food on the second attempt.
Mr. Walcott's immediate action and willingness to assist a person in need saved Deputy Hughes' life. Although Mr. Walcott did not want to receive credit for his life-saving efforts, his efforts to render aid are commendable. Therefore, Mr. Ian Walcott is hereby awarded the Sheriff's Commendation for coming to the rescue and saving the life of Deputy Sheriff Dan Hughes.
Sheriff Judd, Ian Walcott, and Deputy Hughes can be seen in the photo here, which was taken this morning.
Deputy Hughes is a 14-year veteran of PCSO and is currently assigned to the Northwest District.