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South deputy, families bond after rescue
Jerry Anchors, who was joined at the ceremony by wife Jennifer and daughter Kate, helped save Jacob Helvey in late December. - photo by Autumn McBride

Other honorees
Also honored during Thursday night's ceremony was Sheriff's Deputy Randy Burton, south precinct deputy of the month for February. In addition, medals of valor were given to Sgt. Brent Weeks and Deputy Taryn Perkins.

A Forsyth County Sheriff's deputy has been honored for his efforts that helped save the life of a 3-year-old boy.

Scott Banning received the medal of valor and South Precinct Deputy of the Year Award during a ceremony Thursday night.

Among those honoring him were Mike and Brandi Helvey and their son, Jacob.

The boy is recovering from serious injuries he suffered Dec. 24 when he was pinned between the bottom of an elevator and the first floor landing at his west Forsyth home.

Banning, who was en route to another incident at the time, responded instead to the frantic 911 call involving Jacob.

"I'd give all this back if it had never happened to him, but the fact that it did and the fact that he's here and alive ... it's a good thing," Banning said.

Sheriff Ted Paxton explained that when Banning got to the house, he asked a neighbor, Jerry Anchors, to find something to try to pry the elevator up.

Banning then laid down on the floor and began giving the child breaths.

Anchors returned with a shovel and they were able to push the elevator up enough for Banning to reach the boy and lift the elevator further.

"This act relieved enough pressure from the child's chest to be able to adminster more effective breaths," Paxton said.

Forsyth County fire and emergency medical personnel arrived within a couple of minutes and were able to free the boy.

He was then flown to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite.

"I have no doubt that this family's Christmas would have been very much difficult had you not acted as swiftly and decisively as you did," Paxton told Banning.

"Your actions reflect great credit upon you, the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office, our citizens and the whole law enforcment profession."

Banning's family and the Helveys have formed a bond since the accident, which was obvious by the hugs Banning's children gave Jacob when they saw him at the ceremony.

The boy came home March 1 and is still in outpatient rehabilitation, his parents said. He apparently suffered oxygen-deprivation and faces a lengthy recovery.

Brandi Helvey said a certain expression appears on his face whenever he sees Banning, as if he knows that's the man who helped him.

"He knows that he's his angel," she said. "Since this happened we've had a special bond with his whole entire family. They're just part of our family now."

She said her son is improving.

The Helveys said they are also grateful for Anchors' help that day. His daughter, Kate, comes by and reads to Jacob daily.