The Higgins and Langley Memorial 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. Click on their images below to read more about these remarkable men.

Earl F. Higgins

Writer, Documentary Filmmaker

Jeffrey Langley

Firefighter/Paramedic, Los Angeles County Fire Department

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.

Drowning Support Network

Established by Nancy J. Rigg, the Drowning Support Network is a peer support group for people who have lost loved ones in drownings or other aquatic accidents, including when no physical remains have been recovered, or the recovery process has been lengthy and difficult.

Photo: Earl Higgins and Nancy J. Rigg at the White House in 1975 shooting a documentary about the press corps. PHOTO: FRANK JOHNSTON

Find out more about the Drowning Support Network