AUSTIN – Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith honored several men and women for their outstanding acts of service at the 14th annual Law Enforcement Division Awards Ceremony.
The ceremony recognized Texas game wardens, non-commissioned TPWD employees, first responders from other agencies and members of the general public.
“We are extremely proud of our game wardens, our fellow first responders and members of the public who exemplify professionalism and service by assisting our citizens,” said TPWD Law Enforcement Division Director Col. Grahame Jones. “Our game wardens routinely respond during highly stressful situations and are often times the first to arrive during natural disasters or search and rescue scenarios.”
This year’s award recipients include game wardens who showed outstanding displays of teamwork and leadership in response to medical emergencies. Among the many heroic efforts recognized, include:
During a March 2018 shooting incident in Bowie County, a game warden’s quick and heroic actions saved the victim’s life. After being told the victim was dead and the suspect barricaded inside a house, the game warden saw the victim move and make sounds. The warden instructed a local police officer to cover him and, without regard to his own personal safety, pulled the victim out of harm’s way, and provided critical first aid until EMS arrived on the scene. The warden then returned and coaxed the suspect to surrender peacefully.
On Lake Tawakoni in April 2018, game wardens responded to a 911 call of a boat capsizing in heavy winds, with a man trapped under the bow of the overturned vessel. With aid from a DPS helicopter, wardens rescued the elderly man, who was soaked in gasoline and suffering from hypothermia. After loading the victim into an ambulance, wardens learned from the man that his brother was also onboard. They returned to the lake and located the brother clinging to a floating buoy, also bringing him to safety.
In December 2016 on Falcon Lake, game wardens responded to a shots fired call involving two boats on the U.S. side of the lake. With assistance from other law enforcement, wardens recovered a shooting victim onboard the vessel and then rescued one of the occupants who was discovered clinging to a buoy suffering from shock and hypothermia.
Other heroic lifesaving efforts recognized include the rescue of a U.S. Border Patrol agent and an undocumented alien suffering from heat-related injuries in a remote area of Brewster County; saving a 9-month-old in a near drowning incident; providing critical first aid and assistance to car crash victims; and several water-related rescues.
Also recognized was former Texas Parks and Wildlife Commissioner Margaret Martin for her ongoing commitment and dedication to Texas game wardens. Martin created the Texas Game Wardens Citizens Academy and serves as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation’s liaison for the Gear Up For Game Wardens program.