Whitney, TEXAS – Park Ranger Jarod Briscoe received the Fort Worth District Castle Hero Award Nov. 16 at Whitney Lake.
The Castle Hero Award was established at the request of former District Commander Colonel (ret) Christopher Martin, to recognize district employees who in the course of their duties, have taken direct action which resulted in saving a life.
Based on Briscoe’s actions during a recent drowning incident at Soldier’s Bluff Park at Whitney Lake, demonstrates why he is deserving of this award.
On July 31, 2018, Park Ranger Jarod Briscoe responded to a local law enforcement dispatch on the radio for a drowning in progress at Soldier’s Bluff Park, Whitney Lake. Ranger Briscoe was near the park and arrived in less than three minutes, well ahead of any other first responders. He took a rescue throw bag and two personal flotation devices and responded to the shoreline where the incident was occurring. When he arrived, one male – who later was confirmed as a fatality, had already gone under and two more men were struggling in the water. Two of the individuals had been swimming and cliff jumping, and the other jumped in to help. The shoreline is a sheer rock bluff, approximately eight feet above the waterline, with no way up for hundreds of feet in each direction.
Ranger Briscoe threw a life jacket to the individual who jumped in to help, and he was able to put it on and stay afloat. Another bystander was trying to help the other young man, who was struggling to stay afloat in the rough water, as he pounded against the cliff. Ranger Briscoe threw him the rescue throw bag, but he was too fatigued and panicked to hold on to it. Briscoe then threw the second PFD and he was able to hold onto it and regain some composure. He was not able to pull himself up with the rope, so Ranger Briscoe pulled him up the cliff face and onto shore. First responders then arrived and assisted the young men up the cliff and onto shore.
Ranger Briscoe is relatively new to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District. He is a former Army Ranger and responded very well to an emergency situation. Despite one tragic loss, without Ranger Briscoe’s timely and effective response, the event would have almost certainly involved three fatalities.