SAVANNAH, GA—Chatham Emergency Services (CES) announced Feb. 13 that it has nominated EMS Division Paramedic Mindy Cauley for its 15th Annual Valor Award. The award will be presented April 15, 2021.
Cauley is the first woman to ever receive the Valor Award.
On the evening of Sept. 20, 2020, Cauley was driving home from an overtime EMS shift in her personal vehicle. She noticed a man climbing onto the cement railing at the top of the Thunderbolt Bridge, 65 feet above the Wilmington River. Cauley called 9-1-1, stopped her car in the middle emergency lane, turned on her emergency flashers and responded to the citizen's aid.
When Cauley got close to the man, he saw her and began to lean forward to plunge into the river below. Before he could fall, Cauley reached out and grabbed his arm, stabilizing him on the bridge's edge. While awaiting police and EMS, Cauley established a dialogue and allowed the man to open up about his feelings. He told her he had written a note telling his family he was going to commit suicide.
Cauley asked him if he believed in God. He said he is trying, but his faith was shaky at best. He said he needed a sign from God to keep living. Cauley told him that she was his sign. She had gotten off work late and shouldn't have been driving home so late. She wouldn't have normally been there on that day of the week, but had picked up an extra overtime shift.
The man eventually came down onto the pavement and was transported by Chatham EMS to Memorial Hospital.
Cauley received a written commendation from her EMS District Chief and Deputy Chief for her conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity to clearly distinguish herself above her comrades.
Chatham EMS CEO Chuck Kearns stated, “I was honored to nominate Chatham EMS Paramedic Mindy Cauley for the 15th Annual 200 Club Medal of Valor. What she did that night was heroic. She placed herself in grave danger to help a complete stranger and saved a life.”
Founded in 1961, Chatham Emergency Services (CES) is a community-owned, not for profit fire and EMS agency, entering its 60th year of community service to Chatham County. CES operates with a team of over 400 local personnel, both paid and volunteer, exemplifying safety and protection “for the community, by the community.”