Download 2016 Recipient List

The Higgins and Langley Memorial Awards Board of Directors is pleased to announce and extend our congratulations to the 2016 award recipients. These internationally recognized awards are presented to individuals, teams, and agencies that demonstrate outstanding achievements, skills, and/or preparedness in the technical rescue discipline of swiftwater and flood rescue. Awards may also be given, on occasion, to individuals who demonstrate clear thinking and the utilization of available resources to effect swiftwater and flood rescues. The awards honor civilian rescuer Earl Higgins, who lost his life in February of 1980, while saving the life of a child who was swept away in the flood swollen Los Angeles River, and firefighter/paramedic Jeffrey Langley of the Los Angeles County Fire Dept., a swiftwater rescue pioneer, who lost his life in a helicopter accident in March of 1993.

2016 Higgins & Langley Memorial Awards

Incident Awards:

Columbia Fire Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Honoring the Columbia Fire Department’s response to historic flooding from Hurricane Joaquin, October 4-5, 2015, which significantly impacted the area. Working with numerous response agencies, multiple individuals, who were trapped in rapidly rising waters, were rescued by shore, boat and helicopter.

Lewis and Clark County Search and Rescue
Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office
Helena, Montana
The Lewis and Clark County Search and Rescue and the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office are being recognized for the June 26-27, 2015 nighttime rescue operation on the Missouri River downstream of the Hauser Dam. Two individuals and two dogs were rescued from a partially submerged boat pinned against a rock.

Logan Rogersville Fire Protection District
Springfield Fire Department
Logan Rogersville and Springfield, Missouri
Swiftwater Rescue teams from the Logan Rogersville Fire Protection District and Springfield Fire Department are being honored for the May 29-30, 2015 nighttime rescue operation of a family of five, including three children between the ages of 8 and 12, who were swept away in a vehicle and found clinging to trees.

Program Development Award:

HM Coastguard
Southampton, Hampshire, UK
Honoring Richard Hackwell, Deputy Head of Coastal Operations, HM Coastguard, for the comprehensive
approach to upgrading the capabilities, training, and standardization for inland swiftwater and flood response in the United Kingdom.

Lifetime Achievement:

Hiro Sato
Hiroshima, Japan
Mr. Hiro Sato is being recognized for twenty years of service, outreach, and training as a swiftwater and flood rescue instructor, mentor and pioneer with Rescue 3 Japan. His significant contributions have had a lasting impact on the swiftwater and flood rescue community in Japan.

The awards were presented at the International Association of Water Rescue Professionals (IAWRP) Surface Water Rescue Conference banquet in South Bend, Indiana on Thursday, September 29, 2016.