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VFW honors deputy, wife for saving soldier

Posted: February 25, 2014 7:23 p.m.
Updated: February 26, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Camden Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 5928 honored a Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) deputy and his wife, a nurse at KershawHealth, for saving a North Carolina’s soldier’s life in October.

During a Feb. 20 banquet, Post 5928 named KCSO Deputy Cody Blackmon as its Law Enforcement Officer of the Year and his wife, Amy, as Outstanding Emergency Medical Assistant of the Year.  The post honored the couple for coming to the aid of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Allan Armstrong right after Armstrong’s motorcycle collided with a Ford F-250 that pulled into his path on U.S. 1. Armstrong’s wife, Kristy, saw the accident in her rear view mirror as she drove the family’s car ahead of him with their 6-year-old and 4-month-old daughters inside.

Moments later, the Blackmons came upon the scene near James West Road. They saw a pick-up truck in the middle of the road, Armstrong’s motorcycle laying nearby on top of him.

According to a KCSO press release about the awards, Blackmon immediately rushed to the aid of the badly injured soldier and pulled the motorcycle off him. Armstrong had a serious injury to one leg and was bleeding profusely. Amy, a registered nurse in KershawHealth’s emergency department, administered on-the-spot medical treatment and stopped the bleeding. A helicopter airlifted Armstrong to Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia where he lost his leg from the knee down. The KCSO said Armstrong is currently with his Army unit in North Carolina and “progressing nicely” with a new prosthetic leg

“There is no doubt that the quick and professional actions of Cody and Amy Blackmon saved this man’s life. Both of them are experienced in dealing with emergencies of different kinds. I can’t think of two better people to come to the scene of an accident like this and properly handle it,” Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said in the release. “I am very proud of both of them for having received this recognition by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.”

Matthews said no one at the KCSO knew of the incident until the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer contacted the sheriff’s office, wanting to do a story about Armstrong and the Blackmons.

“Cody and Amy apparently sought no special recognition for this and just went on about their normal business,” Matthews said.

In an interview Tuesday morning, Cody Blackmon said it was a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

“It was about 2 o’clock in the afternoon,” he recalled. “We live in Bethune and we were heading into Camden to pick up our daughter. We saw the F-250 in the road and pulled up and parked near James West Road. We ran over and saw Sgt. Armstrong and saw his leg was almost ripped off. My wife, Amy, is a nurse and she said we were going to need LifeNet and I called dispatch. We got a tourniquet on his leg and about three minutes later EMS pulled up. Sgt. Armstrong’s wife and two kids were right behind him and saw it and she was upset and wanted to check on him and help him. I told her to go look after the kids so she wouldn’t have to see her husband hurt like that.”

Blackmon credits his wife with tending to the victim’s injuries.

“Amy did almost all the medical stuff and I directed traffic to keep anybody from getting hit and called who needed to be called,” he said.

He also said he was surprised to be recognized by the VFW.

“We didn’t expect any award whatsoever. To me it was just a person helping another,” Blackmon said. “I was named Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, but I’m sure there’s other people that are more deserving than me.”

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