Anna Maria deputies honored

Deputies honored
From left to right: Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells, Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy. Deputy Patrick Manning and Deputy Matthew Kiernan.

ANNA MARIA – It was a bittersweet honor for the two Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies who were first to respond to a drowning at a vacation rental.

Sheriff Rick Wells named Patrick Manning and Matthew Kiernan Deputies of the Month for August.

The tragic incident occurred on July 11 when a woman found her 2-year-old daughter in the swimming pool, unresponsive. The child managed to open both a door and gate to get to the pool.

Manning arrived at the scene within two minutes of getting the call and started CPR. Kiernan joined him and they both worked on the victim until EMS arrived. Manning followed the ambulance to Blake Medical Center while Kiernan secured the scene and arranged for the mother to get to the hospital. The victim did not survive.

In his announcement, Sheriff Wells praised the deputies’ knowledge of their zone, which produced the short response time.

“Despite the negative outcome of the incident, there clearly could not have been a faster, more professional or compassionate response,” Wells wrote.

Manning said the honor was “bittersweet” and he wants the public to know they have the full force of the sheriff’s office when needed.

Manning has been a law enforcement officer for 32 years while Kiernan has worn a badge for 18 years.