Thursday, February 19, 2009

Don Girvan - When the Knock Came He Was Ready - Shands Bridge Accident - Semper Paratus

When I was in the Coast Guard our motto (the Coast Guard motto) was Semper Paratus. It is latin for Always Prepared or Always Ready. We found in the Coast Guard that preparation often makes the difference when minutes and seconds count. On February 18, 2009 it did. This is not a story about the Coast Guard it is a story about some public servants and an ordinary citizen who was ready. Don Girvan was working in his home office when he heard a heavy pounding on his front door. It was two Clay County Sheriff's deputies. There had been an accident near the Shands Bridge near his home. People needed help. He volunteered his boat and he and the deputies motored to the site of the accident to render aid. This is the story as reported by the St.Augustine Record. Mr. Girvan had just serviced his boat the week before. He was ready. He guided his boat to two floating victims. They pulled a woman from the water and Girvan reported "I don't think she would have lasted five minutes longer". That's how stories end when people think fast and are prepared. We all should be grateful for people like Don Girvan and our deputies who always stand ready. Semper Paratus gang. Dwayne Clark

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