Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees awarded the office's first purple heart to Corporal Brant Webb after he was seriously injured in a car crash on duty. (Dylan Slagle and Ulysses Munoz / BSMG)
The Carroll County Sheriff's Office awarded its first-ever Purple Heart to a deputy injured in a car crash while on duty in January.
The award was one of 15 given at the second annual Sheriff's Office Employee Awards Ceremony on Wednesday evening.
The Sheriff's Office Purple Heart was created this year as an award given to someone injured in the line of duty. Cpl. Brant Webb, who received the award Wednesday, was on patrol duty at about 2 a.m. when a car crossed the center line and struck him.
"For his remarkable courage and sense of survival while injured in the line of duty, Cpl. Brant Webb is awarded the first-ever Sheriff's Office Purple Heart," Colby Brewer, correctional specialist manager, said during the ceremony.
Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees created the award for the Sheriff's Office with Webb in mind.
"So for what he did in putting his life in jeopardy and out there doing the job, we decided to put together a Purple Heart award," DeWees said. "So hopefully I never have to give it again — hopefully he's the only one that I give it to — but just in case, I have it."
DeWees called Webb a quiet leader and one of his best supervisors. He has been a part of the Sheriff's Office for nearly 10 years, Webb said.
"It means a lot to me that I got the award," he said.
Webb was partially ejected from the car but managed to call for help using his radio, and eventually he was able to help deputies locate him and the other driver.
Webb was taken to Shock Trauma at University of Maryland Medical Center, where he underwent several surgeries and treatment. He suffered a cut to his head, a bruised sternum, bruised lungs, two broken ribs, several dislocated toes, a broken left foot, compound fractures to his right leg, a laceration to his knee, injuries to the ligaments in his right knee and a dislocated knee cap, Webb said.
Webb is currently on track during physical therapy to regain movement in his legs, he said.
Webb said he hopes to return to the Sheriff's Office.
"I'm doing everything I can to get back," he said.
Webb was supervising Patrol Group 2 at the time he was injured. His unit has stuck by his side, from helping to get his family to the hospital to see him to keeping his spirits up, Brewer said during the ceremony.
"Group 2 is a fine example of a team that leaves no one behind," Brewer said during the ceremony.
The patrol group was given a Unit Citation Award. Deputy 1st Class Amanda Saffran and Deputy 1st Class Ashley Owens were given the Sheriff's Star for their actions to help find Webb and respond after hearing that their supervisor was injured.
"We're a very close group," Webb said. "They've been there for the whole ordeal."
During the ceremony, the Sheriff's Office also gave out its first Catherine's Cause Award, which honored a deputy who helped keep the roads safe from people driving under the influence. The award was given to Douglas Kriete Jr., who had 69 DUI arrests.
Kriete was also given the Sheriff's Life-Saving Award for saving the life of a 3-year-old by giving her five rounds of CPR and was named the Deputy of the Year for 2015 for his efforts in investigating an armed robbery of a Finksburg Pharmacy in May 2015.
He had been previously nominated for the award in 2013 and 2014.
"It's an award I've been chasing for three years now, so personally, it's a goal of mine to win Deputy of the Year," Kriete said after the ceremony.
Kriete has been with the Sheriff's Office for five years and a patrol officer for four years, he said. He graduated from the police academy in 2012, according to a news release from the Sheriff's Office.
"The awards mean a lot to me, but really I'm just out there doing my job and making a difference," Kriete said.