Higgins and Langley Memorial Awards
Los Angeles County Fire Department
Earl F. Higgins
Writer, Documentary Filmmaker
The awards were established in 1993 by members of the Swiftwater Rescue Committee of the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR) in honor of Earl Higgins, a writer and filmmaker who lost his life in 1980 while rescuing a child who was swept down the flood-swollen Los Angeles River, and Jeffrey Langley, a Los Angeles County Fire Department firefighter-paramedic, who lost his life in a helicopter incident in 1993.
Flooding is the leading cause of weather related death worldwide. Rescuers who lack proper swiftwater/flood rescue training and equipment are at risk of serious injury and loss of life. Every year, would-be rescuers, both citizens and professionals, die in swiftwater incidents. Although improvements in response capability are being made in many public safety agencies, others remain inadequately prepared to perform safe and effective swiftwater and flood rescues.
Higgins and Langley Memorial Awards have increased awareness about the need for specialized swiftwater and flood rescue training. As a result, worldwide training certifications have increased and agencies have been inspired to develop viable water rescue programs, both for the protection of the public, as well as the safety of their personnel.
There are several award categories, including the highest award presented: the Higgins and Langley Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Swiftwater Rescue. The Program Development Award honors those who have developed and implemented stellar swiftwater rescue programs. Team, Incident, and Special Commendation Awards recognize individual contributions, as well as teamwork. And on occasion, a special Lifetime Achievement Award is presented.
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Rigg International Swiftwater Challenge
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