Off Duty Detroit Firefighter Dies a Hero, Sacrificed His Life to Save 3 Girls From Drowning

At a time in this country when everyone seems to be focusing on the negative, it’s amazing when we see a story of such selfless heroism.

When I saw this piece – I felt very bittersweet about it. Here was this great man who died – but he died trying to save 3 girls – and so I wanted to share it with you as a tribute to him and his memory.

His name is Sgt. Sivad Johnson and he was a Detroit fire sergeant and he’s being hailed as a hero after he gave up his life to save a group of girls from drowning in the Detroit River.

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He was near the river with his 10-year-old daughter when they heard three girls yelling for help in the water.

He, along with other bystanders, jumped into the water to save them.

Two of the girls were saved by a nearby boat and the other was saved by a civilian bystander, but Sgt. Johnson never returned to shore.

His little girl called 911 and a search team began looking for the fire sergeant.

Divers from Michigan State Police and the Detroit Fire Department found his body the following day.

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From People Magazine

A 48-year-old fire sergeant from Michigan is being remembered as a hero after losing his life last week while trying to save a group of girls from drowning.

Sgt. Sivad Johnson of the Detroit Fire Department was visiting Detroit River on Friday with his 10-year-old daughter when he and several others went into the water after noticing a group of girls in distress, according to the Detroit Free Press. Johnson’s daughter phoned 911 a short time later when her father didn’t return to shore.

Johnson’s body was found on Saturday morning by divers from the Detroit Police Department and Detroit Fire Department, authorities announced on Twitter.
“He was my idol,” Jamal Johnson, Johnson’s brother, told WDIV. “He was always a hero to me.”
According to CNN, there were three girls in the river at the time of the incident. Two were saved by a boat that was nearby, while another bystander in the area rescued the third girl.

“He and two other civilians heard either one child or up to three children struggling in the water,” Detroit Fire Department Executive Fire Commissioner Eric Jones told WDIV. “Sgt. Johnson, along with other civilians, entered the water to make a rescue of the children.”

The Detroit Police Dept. believes that Mr. Johnson’s body may have been dragged underwater by the rip-current.

He is survived by his two daughters, ages 17 and 10, his brother, and his father.

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Even though he died while off duty, Dave Fornell, deputy commissioner of the Detroit Fire Department said that Sgt. Johnson’s death will be considered a line-of-duty death.

God Bless his soul.


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