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Sheriff Johnson Honors Three Life-Saving Deputies

Date Added: February 10, 2015 10:00 am

Gary Davidson
Public Information Officer 

They’re called deputy sheriffs, law enforcement officers, cops and peace officers. But three Volusia County Sheriffs deputies have new monikers: life-savers.

On Tuesday, Sheriff Ben Johnson honored three deputies for savings lives in two different incidents. All three were awarded the agency’s medal of merit during an awards ceremony at the Sheriff’s Office’s Deputy Stephen Saboda Training Center in Daytona Beach. In one case, a deputy’s quick actions saved a choking child. In another, two deputies jumped into frigid water to rescue a driver whose vehicle had ended up in a drainage canal. “We’re real proud of you,” Sheriff Johnson told the trio. “You’ve made the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office real proud.”

The first incident occurred on Dec. 8, 2014. That’s when a pickup truck became partially submerged in chilly water after leaving the roadway and ending up in a drainage canal on International Speedway Boulevard near Red John Road. With the driver in distress and seemingly disoriented, two deputies -- Sergeant James Day and Deputy Christina Chaves -- came onto the scene at the exact right time, and without a moment to spare. Without hesitation, both deputies jumped into the frigid water, extricated the victim from the truck and assisted him to the embankment and awaiting paramedics. It was later determined that the driver had suffered a medical episode. “Sergeant Day and Deputy Chaves’ swift and calm intervention, despite potential danger to themselves, prevented this incident from becoming a tragedy with a loss of a life,” notes the citation that accompanied the medal of merit.

In addition to Sheriff Johnson’s praise, Circuit Court Judge Matthew Foxman was on hand to pay tribute to his courtroom bailiff, Deputy Chaves. “She keeps us safe every day,” said Judge Foxman. “It makes me proud to work with her. It makes me proud to know her.”

On Jan. 3, a small, choking child was extremely fortunate that Deputy Brant Lickiss was around. It was on his first shift as a full-time deputy when he spotted a driver make an abrupt turn into a driveway in Deltona, hastily exit the vehicle and pull a 4-year-old child from the passenger seat. When he stopped to check things out, Deputy Lickiss quickly realized the girl was choking. As the girl’s lips began turning blue, the deputy quickly performed a series of strikes to the child’s back. The swift action managed to dislodge a piece of candy that had become stuck in the little girl’s throat. Along with the medal, Deputy Lickiss also received the thanks of Sheriff Johnson for a job well done and a citation which read in part: “Deputy Lickiss’ actions reflect the highest standards of the law enforcement profession and bring honor to both himself and to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.”  

Added Sheriff Johnson: “You used your training to avert a tragedy.”

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