Clearwater, FL December 11 - Firefighters are in the business of saving lives. Sometimes under extreme circumstances, that can include one another. Clearwater’s Firefighter of the Year rescued an unconscious co-worker from the water during a training accident.
On June 11, 2008, Lt. Matt Daerr was participating in a personal watercraft training exercise in Tampa Bay. Firefighter/Fire Medic Jason Matthews, who was also in the exercise, was thrown from his Jet Ski after coming across the wake from a boat. He was knocked unconscious in the water. Lt. Daerr immediately went to FM Matthew’s rescue. He pulled FM Matthews from the water and brought him back to shore. Under the extreme circumstances of this water rescue, his action was exemplary and it is an example of the first-rate firefighting/rescue skills he possesses. His training, courage, and quick thinking saved FM Matthew’s life.