Governor Rick Scott Presents Seminole County SWAT Team with the “Medal of Heroism”

Today, during the Florida Cabinet meeting, Governor Rick Scott recognized four Seminole County SWAT team members for their courage, sound judgment and exceptional leadership. Working together as a team, Sergeant Bill Gosch, Deputy Sheriff Andrew Thomas, Deputy Sheriff Tom Yeisley and Deputy Sheriff Brian Welch responded to a fatal shooting in Lake Mary in December 2012.

The suspect had fled the scene and was believed to be armed and injured. The responding deputies believed the suspect was hiding under a crawl space. After attempting numerous methods to find the suspect, the decision was made for the deputies to crawl underneath the property – putting the deputies at a significant tactical disadvantage. The SWAT operators found the wounded suspect, and after receiving medical assistance, the suspect was charged for the shooting.

Governor Scott said, “The SWAT operators have distinguished themselves by their exceptional meritorious conduct in the line of duty. Their sacrifice, service, and bravery during the incident prevented further harm in that tragic day. I am proud to honor these true heroes with the ‘Medal of Heroism’ for their compassion and service to Florida families. They are a great example of admirable heroism in our community.”

Seminole County Sheriff Donald F. Eslinger said, “We appreciate the Governor and Cabinet for honoring these courageous deputies. Their actions are reflective of the outstanding commitment demonstrated each day by the members of our agency, as well as the thousands of law enforcement officers across our state who put their lives on the line to safeguard our communities.”

The “Medal of Heroism” is given to any law enforcement or correctional officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician or paramedic who has distinguished himself or herself by risking his or her life deliberately above and beyond the call of duty and must have engaged in hazardous or perilous activities to preserve lives with the knowledge that such activities might result in great personal harm.


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