Miami Beach business community recognizes police, firefighters

Local 10 News reporter Erica Rakow accepts key to city in honor of father

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – From the dispatchers who are there the minute you call 911 for help, to the firefighters, police officers and lifeguards who emerge on scene to help you, these are some of the people in Miami Beach who were responsible for saving countless lives over the past year.

The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce hosted a breakfast to honor the city's heroes. Dispatcher Tanya Guyton was one of the guests. She was credited with helping to save the life of a woman who was trying to kill herself. 

"It was a relief when I heard rescue say she's conscious, breathing, but unresponsive," Guyton said. "Not only did I save her life, I saved her kids."

The event is held twice a year. The three firefighters who rescued a man who was trying to jump from a building on New Years' Eve were also a part of the event. Miami Beach firefighter Pedro Bermejo is one of them. 

"He looked like he had just given up hope and when he was going to do it, all three of us pretty much looked at each other and rushed in," Bermejo said.  "And we were blessed enough to make the save."

Miami Beach police officers Kendrick Brailsford and Reginald Horton also had a heroic story. Last April, as they were at the scene of a traffic crash, the two heard a woman screaming for help. They were the shouts of a 71-year-old battered woman. 

Her attacker "was about to sexually assault her and we got there just in time before the sexual assault took place."

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine also presented the Rakow family with keys to the city in memory of Scott Rakow, who was a Miami Beach police officer killed in the line of duty in 1988. 

Rakow, a four-year veteran, was working an undercover drug sting operation when men tried to rob him. They fled in a truck. He chased them. After they crashed into a tree and fled on foot, he chased them until he was shot in the head. 

"Scott Rakow's name was so legendary, so iconic in our entire city, he represented so much," Levine said. "He represented the best of Miami Beach."

His daughter, Erica Rakow, was six months old when he died. She is now a Local 10 News reporter.