COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – As Muscogee County Sheriff Greg Countryman picked up the phone, his mind began racing to conclusions. In law enforcement, the words, ” it’s about your son…” were usually followed by heartbreak. Yet, this call was not that kind of news.

Instead, Sergeant Lori Weitzel told the sheriff that his son had saved the lives of two children. 

On May 16, the sheriff’s son, Deputy Greg Countryman Jr., had gotten off of work, but something called him to sit in his car and listen to the radio. 

Deputies received a call about two children who were unconscious and not breathing after being pulled from a swimming pool. Countryman Jr. went from sitting in his driveway to racing to the scene. 

He was the first to arrive. The homeowner was attempting to administer CPR to the children: 3-year-old twins. 

Countryman acted quickly and trusted his training. He took over compressions for one of the toddlers. 

The twins,  Christopher Jr. and Ciana Sweeney, were successfully resuscitated. 

Sgt. Weitzel also responded and assisted until EMS arrived. After the children were taken to Piedmont Columbus Regional, Countryman stayed by their side.

“He was coming in the room 2-3 times while we were here to ensure that the babies were doing okay and asking how we were doing, that was very comforting of him,” Christopher Sweeney, the father, said. “To understand that he was like a rookie just shows the type of man that he is. Taking ownership of that day was truly a blessing for us.”

For the Countrymans, “serving and protecting” is a family business. Some would say it’s in their D.N.A. 

On Friday, Piedmont honored Countryman Jr. for their “July, First Friday Hero Ceremony.” The program recognizes first responders each month who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Congressman Sanford Bishop attended the event and awarded Countryman with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition. As Sheriff Countryman watched his son accept the awards, he was no longer watching as the sheriff. Instead, he was a proud father.  

For the Sweeney family, Countryman Jr. is a hero. Not because he has superpowers, but because he chose to run toward and not from.