Deputy, firefighters honored for protecting others

Deputy Kenneth Mercer said he was “just doing my job” when he blocked a woman from a potentially dangerous gunman on Oct. 9, but on Oct. 30 he was one of several rewarded for his actions in the public safety field.

“It’s definitely a humbling experience to be recognized by (the Exchange Club of South Augusta) and the department,” Mercer said Monday.

The sheriff’s deputy, in addition to five members of the Richmond County Fire Department – Lt. Daniel Steele, Sgt. Robert Holliday and firefighters Zachary Bradford, Tavaris Kidd and Joshua Hix -- were honored for their actions last week by the Exchange Club of South Augusta.

“It’s our attempt to say thank you to the entire department,” past president Chuck Stevens said.

Each year the Exchange Club of South Augusta honors someone from the Augusta-Richmond County Fire, sheriff’s and civil marshal’s departments for his actions.

The marshal’s recipient, Steve Hammonds, was unable to attend the ceremony and will be honored at a later date.

The firefighters were nominated for their actions after responding to a home fire on Rosier Road where a woman was trapped inside. The firefighters worked together to pull the woman to safety.

“Everything worked just about as perfect as it could at that fire,” Interim Training Chief Shaw Williams said of the firefighters’ actions.

Holliday said that although he felt honored to be awarded, he had never thought twice about the rescue.

“Every firefighter would have done the same thing,” he said following the acceptance of the award.

Richmond County sheriff’s Lt. Robbie Silas said its recipient, Mercer, was nominated after his role in protecting a bystander at a dangerous standoff with a gunman who had threatened to either harm himself or officers.

While police spoke with the suspect, who was still considered a threat, Mercer noticed the woman in the line of danger.

The standoff ended with the gunman talking his own life. Mercer and the woman were unharmed.

Exchange Club of South Augusta presents public safety awards

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