Garet Bloodworth, a senior in Ferris State University’s Law Enforcement Academy, has been nominated for a Citizen’s Award for his efforts to help save a driver trapped in a burning vehicle.
Bloodworth was working as an intern at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department when he and Deputy Tony McNeil were called to the scene of a single-vehicle crash. The incident happened in May, shortly after Bloodworth started the internship in his hometown.
“We were the first emergency unit on the scene, and if Garet would not have been present, it would have been nearly impossible for me to remove the person who was trapped in the vehicle, and I would have been severely burned,” McNeil said. “The car was rolled over, and the flames were about 10 feet high.”
Bloodworth worked to extinguish the flames while McNeil and a second officer who arrived could extricate the driver.
“Garet’s efforts were impressive, and he showed his true colors when he stepped up that day,” McNeil said. “I didn’t have to ask or tell him what to do, he just went into action.”
Bloodworth said he simply reacted.
“It all happened so fast that I really didn’t have time to think,” he said. “I just acted, and I did what came natural to me. I wasn’t going to just sit there and watch. I wanted to help Deputy McNeil as much as I possibly could.”
In recommending him for the Citizen Award, Sgt. Jason Strebe said Bloodworth “was instrumental in assisting deputies by his efforts and went above and beyond his capacity as an intern.”
The driver died several hours later from injuries sustained in the crash, but Strebe noted that without Bloodworth’s “heroic efforts,” the driver would have died in the vehicle at the scene.
The nomination is awaiting review by the department’s Awards Board.
Bloodworth will graduate from Ferris in May with a Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement.
“My experience with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department was great,” he said. “I learned a lot from seeing everything firsthand. My actions of jumping in and helping that day reassured me that I am going into the right field.”