Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington honored two men Tuesday afternoon for their heroic actions in two separate incidents that occurred in January and February of 2014. Both saved two men.
Sheriff Whittington presented the Bossier Sheriff’s Office Commendation Medal to Deputy Darryl Ware, a five-year veteran with the Bossier Sheriff’s Office, for rescuing a man from the second story of The Reserve Apartments.
Deputy Ware was working patrol in the Benton area Jan. 25 when he was sent to a structure fire at the apartment complex around 6:30 a.m. He was the first deputy on scene along with a volunteer firefighter. Some residents who had already evacuated told him that one of the upper apartments still had an occupant.
Ware was not able to go up the stairs, so he climbed from a first floor patio fence to the upstairs balcony and pounded on the wall of the apartment to wake the residents. Troy Cummings was the sole occupant in the apartment, and he awoke disoriented. Deputy Ware told Cummings that there was a fire in the building blocking the front door and stairway, and that he needed to get out since there was smoke already in his apartment.
Cummings attempted to go to the front door and exit, but when he opened the door, the flames and smoke were too intense. Deputy Ware, a retired Marine, then quickly helped Cummings, who was afraid and still disoriented, get out of his apartment by climbing over the balcony down the outside wall. Ware climbed down first and guided him down by placing his feet and lowering him down to safety.
“Deputy Ware displayed great courage by his actions, and we are grateful to him and his level of professionalism as a member of the team here at the Bossier Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff Whittington.
His words were humbling for Ware.
“I appreciate the award - it’s humbling and I really didn’t expect it,” said Deputy Ware. “I didn’t do anything that anybody else would have done if they were there first. I accept this on behalf of the Bossier Sheriff’s Office night shift and the deputies and firefighters who were on the scene that night also.”
Sheriff Whittington also presented the Bossier Sheriff’s Office Outstanding Achievement Award to Robert Berry, the executive director for Cypress Black Bayou. Berry received his award for saving one man’s life and attempting to save another man during an electrical accident at the park.
Around noon Feb. 6, Brandon Beaver and Kevin Snell were conducting electrical repairs on transformers at Cypress Park. The two men were working alongside each other when Brandon came in contact with a hot line. He was immediately electrocuted, and because Snell was working right next to him, he was electrocuted as well.
Berry was standing nearby where the contractors worked, and he quickly attempted to knock the two men from the electrical current. All three men suffered injuries and were transported to local hospitals for treatment. Unfortunately, Beaver passed away due to his injuries, but Snell lived because of the quick actions by Berry.
“We are saddened by the loss of Brandon and send our condolences to his family,” said Sheriff Whittington. “However, we are pleased to have Kevin with us here today because of the selfless actions of Robert.”
“You make a split decision…you’re reacting,” said Berry. “You put everything aside when human life is in danger like that and do what you have to do to try and save them. The hardest thing you have to deal with is that you only brought one back, and not both. You’re dealing with human life. You react and you make that decision, put it in God’s hands, and that’s all you can deal with. You hate to see two little boys not have a father.”
“I’d like to thank the first responders, Fire Department, EMS and Sheriff’s Office,” Berry continued. “I’d like to ask for prayer for the Beaver family and the two angels he left behind and also continued prayer for the Snell family.”