JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - In just two weeks the Professional Cowboy Association rodeo will be here on the coast for the annual competition. This year WLOX has partnered with PCA to honor the unsung heroes of the coast through a calendar contest. The the kind of heroes the cowboys want to honor are dedicated to the job.
Pascagoula Police officer Bruce Lynd's 20 years law enforcement training was put to test when a storm named Isaac blew this way in 2012.
We had a gentleman coming from Moss Point checking on boat tied up on the Pascagoula River, and on his way back the engine stopped on him," Lynd said.
So, the boater called 911 in a middle of a storm for help. Lynd and another officer got the department's boat and took their chances to rescue him.
"The gentleman had been pushed by the winds into the marsh grass about 30 feet," said Lynd.
Fighting strong currents with little visibility, Lynd dove into the water and waded to the man in order to pull him safety.
"We didn't have any other choice. It was either leave him there or we had to go and get him and we went and got him," Lynd said.
Moss Point's Fire Chief Clarence Parks also knows about dramatic storms rescues as well as massive flooding. In the past two years, Parks and his team have helped save more than 300 people who were trapped in their homes by rising water.
"You may have gators that are in the near area. You may also have power lines down that are going through our minds, but at the same time we realize if we don't help the people then who will," Parks said.
The first responders don't look at themselves as heroes.
"Regardless if we are paid for it or not, I think most of our personnel here would continue to do the job of knowing they are helping someone out," Parks said.
"You have to have a love for this job. I would have to say you are born to do this job," Lynd said.
If you know a first responder or military soldier who should be honored and featured in the rodeo calendar, click on the 'contest' link. The nominated heroes will be posted on our website and south Mississippi will vote for the winner. The rodeo will be held in Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi from January 16 until the 19th.