RALEIGH — Two North Carolina highway patrolmen with links to Robeson County were honored this week at a ceremony in Raleigh.
According to a statement from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, 1st Sgt. S.C. Kirby of Lumberton was awarded the Samaritan Service Award on Tuesday for his efforts in saving a man who had stopped breathing, while Sgt. Daniel Hilburn, who formerly worked in Robeson County, won the Meritorious Service Award for coordinating recovery efforts during Hurricane Matthew.
On July 12, Kirby was off duty in Lumberton and heading home with his son when he saw that a neighbor was kneeling in the yard. Kirby picked the man up off his knees and laid him on the ground, determined he was not breathing, did not have a pulse and his lips were blue. Kirby started full CPR with help from his son. They continued for about 10 minutes until firefighters, police and paramedics arrived. The man survived.
On Oct. 8, Hilburn was assigned to the Columbus County Emergency Operations Command in advance of Hurricane Matthew. Hilburn was quickly made a part of the Incident Management Team and named branch director for all law enforcement in Columbus County. During the storm and for 18 days that followed, he managed all logistical requests for manpower, meals, lodging and mission assignments, working more than 250 hours in just three weeks. Hilburn also coordinated efforts with the state Fire Marshal’s Office to provide for escorts from as far away as Scotland County to ensure responding fire departments from across the state were able to safely get to Columbus County to provide the needed relief to the local fire departments.
After working for two weeks straight, Hilburn volunteered to work in Fair Bluff so the chief of police could get some rest.
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