Jasper and Saluda County Firefighters Receive Meritorious Action Awards

Jasper and Saluda County firefighters recently received Meritorious Action Awards from S.C. State Firefighters’ Association for rendering services beyond the ordinary course of duty in an attempt to save a life.

Lieutenant Justin Blankenship, Jasper County Fire-Rescue

Lt. Justin Blankenship receives the
Meritorious Action Award.
Jasper County received a call for a house fire and when Lt. Blankenship checked the notes on the call, there was a possibility that the caller was still inside the burning house. Shortly after, dispatch confirmed that the caller was still inside and had stopped responding. Lt. Blankenship sprang into action when he got to the scene and rescued the victim.

“To have a positive outcome is always humbling,” Lt. Blankenship stated.

“That particular evening really truly reflected on his knowledge, skills, and abilities and for that we are tremendously thankful,” Jasper County Fire-Rescue Chief Russell Wells offered.

“It’s nice to be recognized by my chiefs, but in the end, I was doing my job,” Lt. Blankenship continued, “I was doing what I was trained to do and my calling to do.”

Captain Josh Mills and Lieutenant Tanner Quattlebaum, Saluda County Fire Service

Lt. Tanner Quattlebaum and Capt. Josh
Mills (not pictured) receive the
Meritorious Action Award.

Saluda County Fire Service received a call for a fire at a local pawn shop in the early morning hours. With reports of entrapment, Lt. Quattlebaum moved forward with searching for victims while Captain Mills took over fire suppression.

“The whole time I’m searching, it was really confusing because I’m searching and feeling propane cylinders, I’m feeling stacks of fireworks, it kinda added some intensity to the situation,” Lt. Quattlebaum recalled. When Lt. Quattlebaum found the victim behind the clerk counter, Captain Mills met him to help drag the victim out of the fire.

“These two individuals are some of the finest firefighters I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with. They are dedicated, they love their community, and they are truly phenomenal,” Saluda County Fire Service Coordinator Mark Lybrand offered.
SCAC is grateful to these and all firefighters who work tirelessly to keep our counties safe!