Trooper Charles Creel
Troop H - Crawfordville
Trooper Charles Creel has been selected as recipient of the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month award for April 2001, based on his rescue and lifesaving actions of a young boy.
On April 11, 2001, at approximately 6:00 PM, Trooper Creel was off-duty at his residence. He had taken his dogs to a pond behind his house for them to swim. A neighbor, Josh Dimitroff, 13 years old, also came out with his dog. Josh's dog swam out to the center of the pond and while out there the dog had a seizure. The dog went under and Josh went into the water, swimming toward him, yelling for him not to die. Trooper Creel saw this and jumped into the pond, swimming out to rescue the dog. Trooper Creel was able to reach the dog and he brought him back to the shore.
When he reached shore Trooper Creel looked around for Josh and saw him still in the water near where the dog had been rescued. Josh was yelling and having difficulty staying above water. Trooper Creel jumped back in the water to rescue Josh. Before he could reach him, Josh had gone under and resurfaced. Trooper Creel was able to reach Josh and bring him safely to the shore, rescuing him. The dog had expired, but Josh survived.
Because of the two rescues in quick succession, Trooper Creel was nearly overcome himself; he was physically drained from the rescues.
Trooper Charles Creel is to be commended for his quick actions, with little thought for his own safety, for saving the life of Josh Dimitroff.
Trooper Creel is a 20-year veteran of the Florida Highway Patrol assigned to Troop H, Crawfordville.