The South Carolina Sheriff’s Association has awarded its Medal of Valor to three Lexington County deputies.

Deputies Damon Prater, Thomas Smith and Scott Zylstra received the award at the association’s winter conference. The award is presented annually in recognition of an act of outstanding personal bravery performed in the line of duty.

Deputy Prater received the award for his response to motor vehicle collision last summer. According to his nomination, Prater arrived on the scene after a vehicle had struck a house and caught on fire. He saved the driver’s life by pulling him out the burning vehicle.

Deputy Smith was recognized for actions taken last fall after responding to a call about a suicidal individual who was reported to be driving with family members giving chase. According to his nomination, Smith found the individual in a wrecked car, apparently suffering a seizure, and performed CPR until she could breathe on her own and paramedics arrived.

Deputy Zylstra’s actions on the shore of Lake Murray prompted his award. Zylstra was on a traffic stop last summer when he was made aware of a distressed swimmer. He used equipment he’d purchased on his own to pull in the distressed swimmer and another person who was attempting to help.

“These three deputies are great examples of the level of service the men and women of our department strive to deliver every day,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. “Their actions in going above and beyond the call of duty make them more than worthy of this award and the special recognition that goes with it.”

Smith and Zylstra became deputies in 2013. Prater has served as a deputy since 2014.