December 10, 2014
Trio honored by OSSA for lifesaving
BEND — On December 10, 2014, while attending the annual Oregon State Sheriff’s Association Conference (OSSA) in Bend, Deputy Terry Brown of the Curry County Sheriff’s Office was presented with the Award for Valor by OSSA for his role in saving the life of fourteen year old Joshua Peterson of Brookings.
Curry County Search and Rescue member Logan Couch was also presented with a Life Saving Award for the same event.
On June 2, Brown responded to a call of a person in the surf at Harris Beach in Brookings and when he arrived, he saw Joshua Peterson about a hundred yards from the beach, struggling against the rip current and heavy seas.
Brown put on a life vest and swam out to Peterson without regards to his own safety. Once Brown reached Peterson, they were not able to swim back to the shore due to the current. During all of that time Brown held onto Peterson, keeping him afloat until additional rescue efforts were taken.
After about forty five minutes in the frigid waters and several attempts from first responders including Sheriff’s Deputies, Brookings Police Officers and Brookings Firefighters to reach Brown and Peterson. SAR member Logan Couch swam out to Brown and Peterson.
Brown never let go of Peterson, even when his body had given out due to hyperthermia.
Couch kept both Peterson and Brown calm but still was not able to swim the pair back to shore due to the currents. Couch kept Brown and Peterson afloat until a third rescue swimmer, then Lt., now Curry County Sheriff John Ward was able to swim a rope out to them and they were all pulled back to shore by members of the Brookings Fire Department, Sheriff Deputies and Brookings Police Officers.
Out of about 30 awards given out from around the state at the OSSA Conference narrated by OSSA Executive Director John Bishop, the two awards for Brown and Couch received standing ovations by the three hundred plus in the audience, mostly comprised of law enforcement members.
All the recipients of the awards were chosen by a committee out of many nominations from all 36 counties.
Curry County is very fortunate to have dedicated Law Enforcement Officers and Volunteers that do not hesitate to act when it comes to saving someone life.
That day in June, credit has to be given not only to Brown and Couch, but to everyone who was there and assisted in the rescue.