GENESEO, N.Y., Aug. 24, 2022 — Sean Needham received high praise on Wednesday at the Livingston County Board of Supervisors meeting as the Dansville resident was presented with the New York State Senate Liberty Medal following his heroic efforts that saved someone from drowning in the Niagara River last winter.
The highest civilian honor a resident can receive from New York State, the Liberty Medal is awarded to individuals who have merited special consideration for exceptional, heroic, life-saving or humanitarian actions.
A commercial diver by trade, Needham was working on a project when he saw a person in distress within the icy waters. A former Army Ranger, he sprang into action and jumped into the river where he pulled a person from the fast-moving waters and to the safety of his boat before hypothermia could set in.
For his actions, Needham was recognized by Senator George Borrello and Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes who were on hand at the meeting and offered their applause.
“This is a gentleman who not only served our nation as an Army Ranger, but was doing his job as a commercial diver, which is a dangerous occupation to begin with,” said Senator Borrello who serves the 57th Senate District encompassing parts of Livingston County. “To have made that split-second decision to dive into the water and save someone he didn’t know, I can’t think of a better reason to present what is the highest honor that the New York State Senate can give to a civilian.”
Needham’s selfless actions are an embodiment of the character behind the Liberty Medal, a sentiment that Assemblywoman Byrnes readily acknowledged.
“You personally have shown, above and beyond, that you are the finest that New York State has to offer. I can never thank you enough for what you’ve done.”
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About Livingston County:
Founded in 1821, Livingston County, N.Y., is comprised of more than 61,000 residents in 17 towns located across 631 square miles of the Finger Lakes region.