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Cobb County Firefighter Honored for Waterfall Rescue

April 29, 2018

MARIETTA, GA. – April 26, 2018 ( According to an online report from, a Cobb County firefighter has received a national honor for his efforts in rescuing a teen who had been washed down a waterfall.

Firefighter Ralph A. “Rusty” Brown II, of Cobb County’s Technical Rescue Team, received the FDIC International’s Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award April 25 at the annual FDIC convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. The award honored him for a rescue effort he performed on October 10, 2017.  

Brown received a call on that day in 2017 about two brothers who has been washed over the top of a waterfall at High Falls State Park in Monroe County. The boys had fallen about 25 feet onto a set of rocks. One of the boys, 12 years old, was killed in the fall. The second boy, 17 years old, was stranded beneath the waterfall.

In an intense helicopter rescue, Brown managed to retrieve the surviving boy and hang onto him until they were safely dropped onto a nearby bridge. At multiple points during the rescue, the water’s force pulled Brown away from the child and turned him feet-first for the lift. Brown’s head even went under water during one part of the lift. 

The FDIC said that Brown went “above and beyond the call of duty” and that he was unanimously selected for the 2018 Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award. This award remembers firefighters who lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and is used to honor fellow firefighters every year. As a recipient, Brown will receive a medal and a check for $35,000. 

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Category: Personal Injury

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