TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - It's Heroes Day in Tucson.
This special day was created in 2008 to honor fallen Tucson Police Officer Erik Hite, who was killed in in the line of duty, and to thank law enforcement members who serve and put their lives at risk every day.
Heroes Day has been expanded to recognize and thank all first responders in southern Arizona, but especially those who have gone above and beyond in a specific event.
The Pima County Sheriff's Department's Rescue and Air units were honored on Thursday at La Encantada for their heroic actions during the monsoon.
On July 23, crews worked around the clock saving nearly 20 people from flash flooding at Tanque Verde Falls. 17 people were stranded with several in a life or death situation; they were hanging onto rocks in the raging flood waters trying to survive.
Milt Kennedy, the pilot of the sheriff department's helicopter, flew 15 non-stop rescues including saving the life of a four year old boy he plucked from the raging waters. "We didn't know the gravity of it till we were flying there and once we got there, holy smokes, we got people on rocks. A little 4-year-old boy is out there so the stakes were higher and the first priority was the child...get him to safety."
The Sheriff's Department was given the Eric Hite Group Award, the award in memory of TPD officer Erik Hite.
For a list of all the award recipients click here - http://520hero.com/index.php?q=content/2017-heroes.