Alabaster officer saves woman from drowning

Published 2:26 pm Monday, September 14, 2015

Alabaster police officer Charles Brewer has been selected as the department's Officer of the Year for 2015. (Contributed)

Alabaster police officer Charles Brewer has been selected as the department’s Officer of the Year for 2015. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Living up to a mantra police officers face every day, Alabaster officer Charles Brewer had no idea what he would face during his shift on the night of Aug. 23.

While on patrol, Brewer, who works the night shift at APD, received a call from the department’s dispatchers requesting he visit a house in the city to conduct a welfare check.

When he arrived at the house, he was unable to locate the home’s resident, and immediately began searching around the house. As Brewer entered the backyard pool area, he saw something terrifying.

“He searched the area and located her floating face-down in the pool,” Alabaster Police Chief Curtis Rigney said of the adult victim during a Sept. 14 interview. “It was a scary situation.”

Without hesitation, Brewer jumped into the pool, pulled the woman out of the pool unassisted and began performing life-saving measures. When he began, the victim was unresponsive and was not breathing.

“He used the medical training that all officers receive,” Rigney said.

While performing emergency medical treatment, Brewer notified Alabaster Fire Department paramedics, who rushed to the scene. When they arrived, Brewer had stabilized the victim, who was then transported to Shelby Baptist Medical Center for further treatment.

As of Sept. 14, the victim had made a near-full recovery.

For Brewer’s efforts in saving the woman’s life, Alabaster’s police officers chose him as the department’s Officer of the Year for 2015. As a result, Brewer will be recognized alongside other law enforcement officers and firefighters during the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Safety Awards Luncheon on Sept. 30 at the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena.

Rigney said he was unsure how long the woman was in the pool before Brewer arrived, but said the victim likely would not be alive today if it wasn’t for the officer’s quick actions.

“He displayed dedication and heroism in what he did,” Rigney said. “She is alive today, in my opinion, because of what he did.”