Colonel Glenn M. McNeill Jr., commander of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and Erik A. Hooks, secretary of the Department of Public Safety will present several employees and a retiree with awards from the highway patrol in a ceremony 10 a.m. at the State Bureau of Investigation Auditorium, located at 3318 Old Garner Road.
Trooper Dustin Efird will be presented the Samaritan Award for his actions on July 23 when he came to the aid of a woman in Halifax who had crawled out of her tub after falling and used her vehicle remote to signal for help.
The woman, Renee Washington, a nurse at the Halifax County Detention Center, has not returned to work yet.
(Narratives of all the awards are contained in an attachment at the end of this story)
First Sergeant M.O. Silveri said he will be attending the ceremony.
While Efird has since transferred, the sergeant said, “It means a lot to us we had a trooper of his caliber working with us.”
Halifax County Sheriff Wes Tripp and Jail Administrator Jay Burch will also attend.
“It was a blessing for Efird to be patrolling on main street in Halifax and being alert in his diligence to notice the car alarm going off. Because of that it is my opinion he saved a life.”
Halifax County commissioners honored Efird in September.
The Highway Patrol Samaritan Award is an award bestowed to a member of the patrol who went beyond the call of duty to aid or assist a fellow citizen.
The narrative on Efird’s actions read as follows:
On Sunday, July 23, Trooper Dustin P. Efird was traveling north on US 301 in Halifax County near the town of Halifax.
He noticed a vehicle parked in a private yard with the four-way flashers on. He traveled just beyond the home before turning around, feeling something just didn’t sit right with him about the situation.
As he traveled back by the home, he rolled his window down to listen for the alarm and heard the vehicle’s horn.
After pulling into the home’s driveway, he heard a female voice call out for help. He notified the Comm Center of his location and walked towards the house.
Efird was unsure of what he was walking into. As he approached, he noticed a female lying against a storm door who asked for help, saying she was injured.
He immediately contacted Communications and asked for an ambulance to respond to his location.
While they were waiting for EMS, she stated that she was a nurse at the jail. Efird then called the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office to let them know what was going on.
The next day, Efird was contacted by Major Jay Burch of the Halifax County Sheriff's Office thanking him for what he had done.
He stated that Ms. Washington had gotten into the shower around 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 20th and that is all she remembered.
She had apparently fallen while in the shower and became unconscious. When she woke up it was daylight and she was unable to move.
Hours later, she was able to get her leg over the tub and crawl to the door. She found her keys and began locking the car, making the horn sound every time a car went by.
Major Burch relayed that Ms. Washington was very grateful and believes Efird saved her life.