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Deputy Sheriff Dalton Rushing (Perry County Sheriff's Office, Ohio)

Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor

On February 14, 2021, the Perry County Sheriff's Office received a phone call regarding a possible drowning at Tecumseh Lake. Deputy Dalton Rushing was dispatched to the scene, and upon arrival he learned that one person had fallen through the ice and was still in the water, struggling to survive.

Deputy Rushing quickly realized he was the lightest person at the location to attempt a rescue. He stripped his gun belt and gathered the rescue tools at hand. Deputy Rushing was provided a ladder and a rope as he moved onto the ice toward the struggling subject. He quickly realized that even though he was light, the ice could not withstand much weight. With every step, the ice cracked, forcing Deputy Rushing to crawl the majority of the way toward the subject who had been in the icy waters for some time and could not stand or pull himself out of the water.

As Deputy Rushing reached the subject who continued to struggle and could not grasp his rescuer, Deputy Rushing told him, "If you go, I go." After Deputy Rushing tied the rope to the subject, he submerged himself into the icy water, and the other rescuers on scene were then able to pull them both to the shore.

The subject was flown to Grant Medical Center after being exposed to hypothermic conditions for over 45 minutes, and Deputy Rushing was transported to Genesis Medical Facility as his core temperature was very low. Both recovered without any permanent health injuries.

Deputy Rushing acted courageously and decisively, and at great risk to his own life, as he moved over ice-covered waters to rescue a subject who had fallen through the ice and into the lake. His actions were instrumental in the successful rescue of this individual.

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Date Created: June 16, 2022