MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Brownsville Fire Officials are calling two firefighters heroes after they saved a mother and her adult son who were swept away in their car by flood waters.

It happened on January 3 on Thomas Road in the Tibbs Community. Firefighters said the driver of the vehicle was crossing a low-lying area when the car floated into a ditch 10-15 feet deep.

Car nearly submerged in a flooded ditch off Thomas Road

“We got a call for a vehicle in the water with two people inside, and as we got closer, our dispatcher was updating us that they were talking to the guy, and water was getting steadily deeper in the car,” said Battalion Chief Jere Wright.

Wright and Fire Chief David Smith were right behind firefighters Russ Cates and Bryan Dockery. He said Cates and Dockery dove into the chilly floodwaters without hesitation to rescue the man and woman. They said the older woman did not know how to swim.

“They were standing next to the car where the water was only waist deep or so. It didn’t really get deep until we had to bring them back to dry land,” said Chief Wright. “They took a rope out, tied it around the lady, and kind of swam back with her while we pulled the rope.”

Chief Wright said Dockery has been with the department for less than a year and Cates just a few years.

In a Facebook post, the fire department thanked the men for their selfless actions and service to the community.

“I’m extremely proud of those two,” Wright said.

He said both victims were checked out by EMS and did not have to be transported to the hospital.