Coast Guard Shipmate of the Week: Matthew Major, Detroit

Matthew Major5

The Coast Guard Certificate of Merit is awarded to recognize significant endeavors such as displaying initiative in advancing one or more of the Coast Guard’s missions and responsibilities.

Matthew Major was awarded the Certificate of Merit for his courageous actions in saving the life of a man who climbed a barricade to the Detroit River and was preparing to commit suicide.

On the afternoon of May 6, 2015, Major, a security officer, observed the man first walking along the river and then proceeding to climb over the barricade and onto the rocks at the edge of the river.

Matthew Major1Upon seeing the man in distress, Major approved him and engaged him in conversation. The man stated that he was struggling with personal problems and was planning to end his life.

Major swiftly recognized the severity of the situation and called 911 emergency services. Major then kept talking to the man until emergency personnel were on scene and then man had been removed from the rocks and received medical treatment.

Major’s actions and selflessness were instrumental in saving the life of complete stranger. His bravery, good judgment and dedication to the welfare of others are most heartily commended and in keeping with highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.

CERTIFICATE OF MERIT TO MATTHEW MAJOR
The Commandant of the United States Coast Guard takes great pleasure in presenting the Coast Guard Certificate of Merit to Security Officer MATTHEW MAJOR, for his courageous actions in saving the life of a man who climbed a barricade to the Detroit River and was preparing to commit suicide. On the afternoon of May 6, 2015, Security Officer MAJOR observed a citizen first walking along the river and then proceeded to climb the Detroit Riverwalk barricade and lowered himself on to the rocks at the edge of the river. Upon seeing the man in obvious distress, Security Officer MAJOR approached the man and immediately engaged him in conversation learning that he was struggling with personnel problems and planning to end his life. Security Officer MAJOR’s swiftly recognized the severity of the situation, ensured 911 was notified and kept the distressed man occupied until Detroit Police, Detroit Emergency Medical Services and Customs and Border Protection arrived on-scene. Once emergency personnel were on-scene, Security Officer MAJOR made certain the individual was safely recovered and received necessary medical services.

Security Officer MAJOR’s actions and selflessness were instrumental in saving the life of a complete stranger. His bravery, good judgment and dedication to the welfare of others are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.

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