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Man who rescued ejected jetskiers recognized with valor award
Citizen valor award
From left, Chief Tim Satterfield, Michael Hall, Chief Lanier Swafford and Chief Jason Dooley. - photo by Allie Dean

A man who came to the aid of four injured ejected jetskiers one night in August was recognized last week at the Dawson County Board of Commissioners meeting with the 2017 Citizen Valor Award.

 The award was presented to Michael Hall, who at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 31 witnessed a collision between two personal watercraft near his home on the Chestatee River portion of Lake Lanier. Hall immediately boarded his boat and went to the scene of the wreck, where he found four teenage boys that had been ejected from their water crafts into the water, according to a report written by Battalion Chief Jason Dooley. 

Dooley wrote that Hall assisted the patients out of the water and onto his boat and transported them to a nearby dock and waited with them until EMS arrived.

When EMS personnel determined that all four needed to be transported to the hospital but that terrain and distance made access to waiting ambulances difficult, Hall “without hesitation” volunteered to use his boat to transport the patients and attending paramedics to the helicopter landing zone at Nix Bridge Park, where two were loaded into a helicopter and transported to a trauma center and two were taken via ambulance to a specialty care center.

Each of the teenagers were wearing a personal flotation device when the collision occurred.

 “[Hall] did not hesitate to put himself in harm's way and come to the aid of his fellow man,” said Emergency Services Chief Lanier Swafford. “Because of his unselfish actions and as a testimony to his good nature and willingness to serve in a time of need, it is our honor to recognize him tonight with the 2017 Citizen Valor Award on behalf of the Dawson County Emergency Services.”

Swafford said that when Dooley contacted Hall about attending the meeting to accept the award, Hall wanted to make sure that all of the other volunteers and emergency personnel were recognized as well.

“I told [Hall[ that so many times people’s actions in the event of an emergency involve picking up a cell phone and watching the world go by- when he took action others followed suit and I’m thankful for a great community down at Nix Bridge Road that still takes care of their fellow man,” Swafford said.