Water rescue earns Tacoma fire fighter Medal of Valor Award

City of Tacoma officials announced Monday local fire fighter Annie Craig will be recognized this week with a Medal of Valor Award for her actions during a recent water rescue.

According to city officials, after arriving at Owen Beach in Point Defiance Park for an unrelated 911 call, the Tacoma Fire Department’s Ladder 3 fire fighters spotted John Bronson swimming in the water near an overturned canoe. Rebecca Thayer-Blunt, Bronson’s daughter, swam out to help Bronson get the canoe back to the beach but the two were unable to do so by themselves. As the Tacoma Fire Department’s Ladder 3 crew assembled equipment to assist from shore, Bronson began struggling to keep his head above water, submerging several times. Tacoma Fire Department fire fighter Craig entered the water and swam to Bronson. With Thayer-Blunt’s assistance, Craig towed Bronson about 40 feet back to shore, where Bronson was medically evaluated, warmed and then released at the scene.

Craig is scheduled to receive the award during a ceremony on Weds., March 27 at 2 p.m. at Tacoma Municipal Building, City Council Chambers, 747 Market St., first floor, in Tacoma. Bronson, Thayer-Blunt, Tacoma Fire Chief Jim Duggan, Tacoma Fire Captain Jennifer Gunnel, fire fighter Jack Hawkins, and fire fighter Craig are expected to attend the ceremony.