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Distinguished Officers of the Month - September 2011

Distinguished Officers of the Month - September 2011
Officers Terry Arley and Edward Vandamas

The Miami-Dade Police Department is pleased to announce that Officers Terry Arley and Edward Vandamas have been awarded the Departmental Bronze Medal of Valor and Lifesaving Award and selected to share Distinguished Officer of the Month honors for September 2011. Both officers have been a member of the Department since June 1992, and are currently assigned to the Intracoastal District.

On Thursday, June 30, 2011, at 3:55 a.m., Officers Terry Arley and Edward Vandamas responded to a residential fire at 799 NW 151 Street. Upon arrival, they noticed there were citizens inside who were having trouble making their way out due to the thick smoke. Acting quickly, they entered the house and were able to assist them in exiting the residence.

Once outside, however, they began talking to the victims, and discovered there was one person, Mr. Daries Woods, still inside. Without regard for their own safety, Officers Arley and Vandamas grabbed their County-issued fire extinguishers and again entered the burning residence.  Immediately, they started putting out the fire while looking for Mr. Woods, finding him unresponsive on the floor in a rear bedroom. Together, they dragged Mr. Woods out of the house, subsequently saving his life. Mr. Woods regained consciousness and was treated by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue upon their arrival.

As a result of Officers Arley and Vandamas' thorough investigation, it was discovered that the fire had been set intentionally. Officers Arley and Vandamas located the subject and detained him for the arson investigator. In putting their own lives at risk, the actions of Officers Arley and Vandamas clearly saved Mr. Woods, who may have perished in just a few more seconds had he not been discovered.

Officers Arley and Vandamas are both commended for their alertness, bravery, and dedication to duty.  Their valiant actions epitomize sacrifice and a determination to protect the lives of others in the face of danger, reflecting positively upon the Department and the community we serve.

Prepared by:
Sandra G. Kramer
Media Relations Bureau

 

 

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