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Deputy Sgt. honored with Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association Life Saving award

Holmes County Sheriff Tim Zimmerly presents Deputy Sgt. Joel Weaver with the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association Life Saving award. Weaver was honored for saving the life of a suicidal man Jan. 21.

Nick Sabo

A Holmes County Sheriff’s deputy was honored Tuesday, May 13 for saving the life of a man attempting suicide.

Deputy Sgt. Joel Weaver was presented with a Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association Life Saving award by Sheriff Tim Zimmerly at the start of the deputies’ Tuesday morning meeting. The award was a surprise to Weaver, who didn’t know he was about to be honored for his actions that saved a man’s life Jan. 21.

According to Chief Deputy Richard Haun, Weaver was on duty Jan. 21 when he was notified that a man was on the phone with dispatch, threatening to hang himself in a garage off state Route 266 in Ripley Township. Weaver arrived at the garage as the man stepped off a ladder, a ratchet strap tied around his neck. The time was 8:57 a.m.

“He stepped off just as I got there,” Weaver, speaking after the award presentation, said. “I wrapped my arms around his legs and lifted to take some tension off his neck in the strap. I held him like that until (Deputy Brian) Lauriha arrived. It was only about eight minutes, but it seemed like hours.”

Lauriha arrived at 9:05 a.m. Neither of the deputies had a knife to cut through the ratchet strap, so Weaver untied the strap after Lauriha took over holding the man up.

Weaver administered first aid until emergency medical service personnel arrived. The man has since recovered and is alive today “due to the fast response and quick actions by Sgt. Weaver,” Haun said.

Weaver said he didn’t think twice when responding to the situation.

“It was adrenaline and your training,” Weaver said. “You’re there to protect and serve. My reaction was to save him.”

Zimmerly said Weaver’s actions Jan. 21 represent local enforcement officers at their best.

“A lot of times our job requires us to do things that aren’t very popular,” Zimmerly said. “In this case, the officer had the chance to save someone’s life. I’d just like to say thanks to Sgt. Weaver for doing a great job.”

Published: May 17, 2014
New Article ID: 2014705179983