Iowa Park native cited for saving two
from dangerous rip tide
Several graduates of Iowa Park High School have made an impact in the world with success as businessmen, doctors and lawyers, and exceptional examples in their chosen field.
That includes 1992 IPHS graduate Lieutenant Corey Bridwell, who recently received commendations for his part in saving multiple victims from drowning in dangerous rip tides in Florida.
According to Director Colonel Curtis Brown, Division of Law Enforcement at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in Dec. 10 of 2015, Lt. Bridwell was given the Award of Lifesaving for the following action:
“On October 25, 2015, you (Bridwell) were working a joint operation with the Jackstonville Beach Police Department (JBPD) for crowd control during the Jacksonville Beach Sea and Sky Spectacular Air Show. While waiting for a debrief of the day’s activities, you noticed two Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue (JBOR) Lifeguards sprinting into the surf. You scanned the area they were running toward and noticed six individuals that appeared to be in distress 50 or 60 yards into the surf. You yelled over to Lieutenant John Conboy that you were going to help and the two of you, as well as a JBPD Officer, ran over to assist.
You entered the surf to aidan adult female who was scared and exhausted from fighting the current. You helped her to the beach and then noticed another adult female and a pair of children being pulled out to sea by the powerful riptide. After ensuring the first woman you assisted was safely on shore, you made your way back out into the surf to help the second adult femaile. You were able to stand and push her toward the shore until a wave broke on the two of you. You grabbed the woman and continued to push her to shore, encouraging her to kick her feet as hard as she could. As JBOR approached to assist, another wave broke over you.
JBOR grabbed the woman and began towing her toward the shore and the second lifeguard swam to assist you as the current had pulled you another 15 yards out into the surf. JBOR handed you a tow buoy and you both swam back to shore. While on your way in, you scanned the area one last time to confirm that all persons had made it out of the current.
Once you were on shore, you immediately assisted Lt. Bonboy, JBOR and Jacksonbille Beach Fire and Rescue (JBFR) with after care for the victims by calming the two children. JBOR and JBFR continued taking vitals and gathering information on the victims. In total, three children and three adults were pulled from the water. The adult male was transported to a local hospital and all other persons were released from the scene.
Due to abnormally high tides that day, there was an extreme strong rip current and without your quick actions, the situation could have ended with the loss of a life. You are to be commended for your selflessness, willingness to help, professionalism, and your service to your community. I am honored to present you with the Award of Lifesaving. Disregarding your own personal safety, you perservered in aiding the rescue of six individuals.Thank you for a job well done!
Sincerely, Colonel Curtis Brown, Director, Division of Law Enforcement.”
Bridwell is married to Jennifer Bridwell, his wife of 14 years. The couple have two “fur kids” Bevo and Camo.
He is currently a Lieutenant over Duval and Nassau County in Florida, supervising the operations along with three Florida Fish and Wildlife officers in the region.