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Florida deputy receives award for heroism

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During a recent meeting of the Florida Cabinet, Florida Gov. Rick Scott recognized Manatee County Sheriff’s Deputy Willie Finklea with the Governor’s Medal of Heroism for his actions to save a couple from a burning car, earlier this year.

On Aug. 20, 2017, off-duty Manatee County Sheriff’s Deputy Willie Finklea spotted smoke from a burning car on the side of the road and immediately took action to help, while his wife contacted 911. The vehicle’s electronic windows and locks were not working, trapping the two passengers inside. Finklea shot through the car’s left rear window and crawled inside to help the passengers. With his help, both passengers escaped safely before the car was engulfed in flames. 

“I’m incredibly proud to honor Deputy Willie Finklea with the Medal of Heroism today for his outstanding service to the State of Florida. Deputy Finklea put his life on the line to save the lives of others and we thank him and all of our courageous law enforcement officers for their selfless service to Florida families,” said Scott.