Local first responders honored by the 100 Club

A Brazos County deputy and two College Station firefighters have been recognized.
Published: Nov. 9, 2020 at 11:11 PM CST
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Three Brazos County first responders have received awards from the 100 Club.

Deputy Jayson Lyday with the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office has been named Officer of the Year. Firefighters Bryan Cohen and Joseph Valdez with the College Station Fire Department have been named Firefighters of the Year.

The awards are designed to recognize the outstanding service, selfless devotion and bravery of law enforcement officers and firefighters. An awards banquet is traditionally held in Houston, but because of the pandemic, the celebration looked different this year.

On Monday, J.J. Ruffino hosted a private event for the deputy and firefighters in College Station. Ruffino is part of the 100 Club’s Executive Board of Directors. During the event, the first responders received their awards and were able to take pictures with leaders and colleagues from their agencies.

“We don’t do it for the accolades. We just do it because we love to do this job,” said firefighter Valdez.

Valdez and Cohen were off duty, finishing up a game of golf when they received a text on their phone about a major incident happening near them.

“We got a page that there was a drowning there at Pebble Creek. Bryan and I looked at each other and said let’s go,” said Valdez.

The firefighters performed CPR on a young girl until EMS arrived. Because of the work they did, her heartbeat returned while she was being transported to a local hospital.

“In this situation, I knew the family intimately. I’ve known them for a long time,” said firefighter Cohen. “So that’s the hardest part. You’re performing CPR on their daughter and you lock eyes with the father. You kind of have to block that out and remember what you’re doing.”

The girl was later flown to a hospital outside the Brazos Valley. She did not survive but the family remains thankful for the work from the firefighters. A few of the girl’s family members were at the event Monday.

“They were very appreciative of the efforts we tried that night,” said Valdez.

“I’m glad that God put me in the right place at the right time,” said Deputy Lyday.

Lyday is a school resource deputy. He was working at a local high school when he made some life-saving moves.

“We had gotten word that there was a young student in a mental health crisis. I was able to help that student through that process," said Lyday.

“It’s the one time of year we can recognize and honor them for what they’re truly doing. Their friends, family, and coworkers get to see what they do, day in and day out, for all of us," said William Skeen, 100 Club Executive Director.

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