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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts honored Deputy Justin Ashley as the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department Employee of the Quarter for the third quarter of 2012 during an employee awards ceremony that Metts conducted on November 15. The Lexington County Sheriff’s Advisory Council selected Ashley to be recognized for his quick actions on July 1, when Ashley extinguished a stove fire that threatened to engulf a home on Keisler Road near Gilbert.

In addition to being recognized as the Employee of the Quarter, Metts also presented the Sheriff’s Department Medal of Valor Award to Ashley, 24, of Lexington, in recognition of his actions on July 1. On August 22, 2011, Metts appointed Ashley to serve as a deputy. Ashley works as a road patrol deputy in the West Region Patrol District, which is based near Gilbert.

At about 9:32 p.m. on July 1, Ashley responded to a call concerning the activation of a burglar alarm at a home on Keisler Road near Gilbert, Metts said. Ashley could hear that a smoke detector also had been activated inside the residence. Ashley looked into a window at the residence and saw heavy smoke flowing into a hallway inside the home.

Ashley entered the home through the garage and found flames emanating from an object that was on top of a burner that had been left in the “on” position on the stove in the kitchen, Metts said. Ashley quickly moved through the house in order to make sure that no one was inside the residence. After determining that no one was in the residence, Ashley returned to the kitchen and extinguished the fire in the object that had been left on top of the burner on the stove.

“Lexington County Fire Service firefighters told me that the stove-top fire would have escalated into a fire that involved the whole structure of the residence if Justin had not acted quickly to extinguish the fire and eliminate the threat to the residence,” Metts said.

“Justin risked his own life when he entered a residence in order to extinguish a fire that was actively burning,” Metts said. “Justin was motivated to protect other persons and ensure that the fire did not burn down the whole house. His actions reflect his strong dedication to fulfilling our agency’s mission of providing professional law enforcement services that enhance the quality of life for all people in Lexington County.”

During the employee awards ceremony, Metts also presented the Sheriff’s Medal, which is the highest law enforcement honor that the sheriff can bestow, to Lt. Alan Driggers, 40, of Lexington, retired school resource officer James Moore, 61, of Columbia, and retired narcotics investigator Brian Setree, 42, of Leesville.

Metts recognized Driggers for coordinating the 2012 South Carolina Association of Law Enforcement Explorers Summer Conference, which the Sheriff’s Department hosted. More than 130 Explorers and advisors from 11 law enforcement agencies participated in the conference. Explorers Posts are affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America and provide teen-agers and young adults with an opportunity to learn about law enforcement as a potential career.

On October 21, 1996, Metts appointed Driggers to serve as a deputy. Driggers supervises the Human Resources Division.

Metts recognized Moore for his outstanding work as a deputy, particularly as the full-time school resource officer at Pelion High School. On November 21, 1994, Metts appointed Moore to serve as a deputy. Moore retired from the Sheriff’s Department on June 30.

Metts recognized Setree for his outstanding work as a deputy, including stints as a narcotics investigator and school resource officer at Pelion Middle School. On July 3, 2000, Metts appointed Setree to serve as a deputy. Setree retired from the Sheriff’s Department on August 19.

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