Information and photos released by Winter Haven Fire Department:
Firefighter of the Year
Please help us congratulate Firefighter Cody Nowling on receiving the recognition of American Legion 2018 Firefighter of the Year.
The Winter Haven Fire Department received a call for a boat in distress with victims on the Chain of Lakes. This was a nighttime 911 response which multiplies the difficulty of locating and rescuing victims. Upon arrival units could not locate the water craft that was in distress or its occupants. Units on scene were advised that the 911 caller was one of the occupants on board. She advised they did not have any life jackets and she could not swim.
Winter Haven Fire’s marine unit was in-route to the scene and closely behind the other units. But time is an extreme factor with water survivability. With that in mind Firefighter Nowling commandeered a passing boat. They quickly found a capsized vessel with 4 occupants in the water. Firefighter Nowling then jumped into the dark waters and assisted those in need.
Due to Firefighter Nowling’s quick actions, professionalism, leading others and his exceptional effort on locating the sunken boat a positive outcome for all was entailed.
Congratulations to American Legion Firefighter of the Year Cody Nowling!