A Lexington County Sheriffs deputys quick actions in diverting a house fire have earned him the departments Employee of the Quarter distinction for the third quarter.
Deputy Justin Ashley was recognized by Sheriff James R. Metts during an employee awards ceremony earlier this month.
Ashley, 24, of Lexington was selected by the Lexington County Sheriffs Advisory Council.
He is credited with extinguishing a stove fire that threatened to destroy a home on Keisler Road near Gilbert July 1.
That day, Ashley responded to a burglar alarm at the home. When he arrived, he could hear that a smoke detector also had been activated. The deputy entered the home through the garage and saw flames coming from an object on top of a burner that had been left on.
After making sure no one was inside the house, he returned to the kitchen and extinguished the fire.
Lexington County Fire Service firefighters told me that the stove-top fire would have escalated into a fire that involved the whole structure of the residence if Justin had not acted quickly to extinguish the fire and eliminate the threat, Metts said. Justin was motivated to protect other persons and ensure that the fire did not burn down the whole house.
Metts also presented Ashley the Sheriffs Department Medal of Valor Award.
Ashley joined the Sheriffs Department in August 2011. He works as a road patrol deputy in the West Region Patrol District, based near Gilbert.
Several other Lexington County Sheriffs Department employees were recognized during the recent awards ceremony.
Master Deputy Troy Livingston of Cope received the departments Gold Star Award, which recognizes employees who provide exceptional customer service. The 46-year-old Livingston was noted for helping a family who got stranded when they got stranded during a boating outing at Lake Murray one evening this summer.
Metts also presented the Sheriffs Medal, the highest law enforcement honor the sheriff can give, to Lt. Alan Driggers of Lexington, retired school resource officer James Moore of Columbia, and retired narcotics investigator Brian Setree of Batesburg-Leesville.
Driggers, 40, was recognized for coordinating the 2012 S.C. Association of Law Enforcement Explorers Summer Conference put on by the Sheriffs Department. More than 130 Explorers and advisers from 11 law enforcement agencies participated in the conference.
Moore, 61, was recognized for his work as a deputy, particularly while serving as the school resource officer at Pelion High School.
Setree, 42, was recognized for his work as a deputy, including stints as a narcotics investigator and school resource officer at Pelion Middle School.
Senior administrative assistant Jennifer Jennie Wilfong was named the Sheriffs Departments Civilian Employee of the Quarter. The 37-year-old joined the department in May 2008 and works in the Human Resources Division.