Wood County deputies honored

Wood County Sheriff Steve Stephens recognizes Sgt. Desiree Matheny and Deputy Tasha Hewitt for their efforts in saving a young girl, who was brought out of a burning house by firefighters on May 6.

PARKERSBURG — Wood County Sheriff’s Department promoted one of its own and honored three deputies for their efforts in saving lives.

A ceremony was held Monday morning at the Wood County Courthouse to honor four deputies.

Wood County Sheriff Steve Stephens said it was a “joyous but humble occasion” for the department.

Deputy Shana Modesitt was promoted to sergeant. Wood County Circuit Judge Jason Wharton administered the oath of office to her.

Stephens presented her with a new badge to reflect her new rank.

”A lot of people I talk to seem to think you are already a sergeant because of the way you do your job,” the sheriff told her.

Stephens gave out three lifesaving awards.

”As you know, the job of a deputy sheriff can be very stressful and we do all kinds of responses to different things,” he said. ”Sometimes it’s a sad ending.

”We are happy to report we have three deputies being recognized for lifesaving awards.”

Deputy John Wetzel was recognized for his efforts on Sept. 30, 2018 when he responded to a bad traffic accident. When he arrived an individual had been thrown off a motorcycle and was lying in a creek.

”Deputy Wetzel and a couple of people pulled the person out and resuscitated them with CPR,” Stephens said. ”This, more than likely, saved her life.”

Sgt. Desiree Matheny and Deputy Tasha Hewitt were recognized for their efforts on May 5. Firefighters, emergency medical personnel and Wood County sheriff’s deputies responded to the fire at the single-story home at 72 Spruce St., Davisville.

During the fire, Matheny and Hewitt responded to the scene and they helped save the life of a 6-year-old girl who had been brought out of the house by firefighters.

”They both performed CPR and lifesaving techniques on the girl and brought her back to life,” Stephens said. ”She is now in full recovery.”

During the recent Relay For Life at City Park, Stephens was approached by a man who thanked him because the deputies saved his granddaughter’s life and introduced him to the girl.

Matheny also was at the Relay and the sheriff introduced her to the young girl.

”Once they met, they spent the rest of the afternoon together, eating, talking and chit-chatting,” he said.

Hewitt also was there, got to meet the girl and spend time with her as well.

”From that time on, they have forged a friendship,” Stephens said, adding the two have been able to do other things for the girl.

”This is a story of going above and beyond,” Stephens added. ”We are very proud.”

The lifesaving recognitions stated how each deputy rose to the occasion.

”Your actions exemplify your dedication to duty, service to others and preservation of life,” Stephens read from each one.

These instances show the public what deputies do as part of their work.

”This just shows you what your deputies do, above just going out and arresting bad guys,” Stephens said. ”There is another part of their lives.”