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Jason Glendenning and Tyler Zimmerman, Missouri State Highway Patrol

2016 Class
Awarded on: 10/28/2017
Medal of Valor

On July 16, 2016, following heavy rain, Sgt. Glendenning and Trooper Zimmerman were deployed on a jet boat in the Niangua River in Dallas County to search for potential flooding victims. There were swift-water conditions with lots of debris in the river. They found a raft with four occupants pinned against a large downed tree. The raft was taking on water. The officers, using their extensive swift-water rescue training, quickly maneuvered the boat and rescued a woman who had fallen out. Next, they maneuvered their craft to rescue a second woman who had been thrown from the raft and was tangled in the tree and could not keep her head above water. After getting all four boaters to safety, Sergeant Glendenning and Trooper Zimmerman returned to the downed tree to cut down large branches that were a continuing danger. While working on the tree, another raft with five occupants was swept up into the tree. One occupant was immediately ejected and the raft was sinking. Working as a team, the officers rescued all of them, and then saved a kayaker and a young girl on an inner tube who had been ejected and entangled in the tree and ropes. Acting swiftly and skillfully as a team, Glendenning and Zimmerman bravely saved the lives of several people in highly treacherous flooding conditions.

Adam Brannin, Jason Francis and Rusty Rives, Joplin Police Department

2016 Class
Awarded on: 10/28/2017
Medal of Valor

Early on Aug. 13, 2016, Joplin Police Captain Rives and Officers Brannin and Francis responded to a call for a gunman firing multiple shots inside a residence. Before reaching the scene, the officers encountered the gunman firing numerous shots from an AR-15 into a church van at a traffic intersection. Francis stopped and provided assistance as Brannin and Rives pursued the gunman in a fleeing vehicle, who soon fired more shots into another vehicle. Next the gunman drove back toward the church van shooting location. Francis moved a victim with multiple gun-shot wounds out of the line of fire and prepared to provide lethal cover. Brannin and Rives continued in pursuit. The gunman eventually abandoned the vehicle while it was still moving and Brannin and Rives quickly captured him. In all, three victims at two scenes were struck by gunfire, with two of them sustaining multiple gunshot wounds. Three other victims sustained fragmentation injuries. When a gunman brought terror to the streets of Joplin, these three officers responded heroically and ended the threat of further violence. (Rives is now chief of the Lamar Police Department.)

Eli Dorsey and Brandon Sherman, Gladstone Department of Public Safety

2016 Class
Awarded on: 10/28/2017
Medal of Valor

On the night of Nov. 20, 2016, Corporal Dorsey stopped a speeding vehicle with two occupants on U.S. Highway 69. Detecting the odor of marijuana, he called for backup and Sgt. Sherman responded. The vehicle’s passenger then fled on foot. Sherman quickly reached the fleeing suspect, who then pulled a handgun from his waistband. Sherman wrestled for control of the gun and was shot in the hand. As the suspect prepared to fire again, Dorsey fired his service weapon, striking the gunman, who succumbed to his injuries. Sherman, though wounded, secured the driver of the vehicle without further incident. During a traffic stop on a dark highway, Sherman and Dorsey – in the face of grave danger – disarmed a gunman. When fired upon the officers ended the threat to the community.

Jeffrey A. Haislip, St. Charles Police Department

2015 Class
Awarded on: 11/28/2016
Medal of Valor

On the night of Feb. 4, 2015, Officer Haislip was first on the scene to a structure fire on North Third Street. Haislip quickly noticed the blaze from a vacant commercial building was spreading to a house just a couple of feet from the burning building. Officer Haislip banged on the storm door to alert anyone inside. When there was no answer, he broke the glass on the storm door and kicked open the wood door, even as flames were racing up the side of the house and across the roof. During his search, Haislip discovered a frightened and disoriented 86-year-old woman who was unable to move. He picked up the woman and carried her outside. With thick black smoke now choking the neighborhood, Office Haislip carried the woman down the street to medical attention at an ambulance. Before the fire service had arrived on scene, and without protective equipment, Officer Haislip’s swift, decisive, selfless action saved the life of a fire victim who could not have escaped her burning residence on her own.

Jason A. Jameson, Boone County Sheriff’s Department

2015 Class
Awarded on: 11/28/2016
Medal of Valor

During a snow storm on the night of Feb. 28, 2015, Boone County Sheriff’s deputies and the Missouri State Highway Patrol responded to a homicide scene north of Columbia where two victims lay deceased and a third was in critical condition. Witnesses reported the killer, armed with a handgun, was escaping in a white car. Jameson and a Highway Patrol sergeant positioned their vehicles in an attempt to intercept the fleeing car, and Jameson observed what he believed to be blood on the side of vehicle.

Michael J. Kuss, Springfield Fire Department

2015 Class
Awarded on: 11/28/2016
Medal of Valor

As midnight approached on May 29, 2015, following a major storm and flash flooding, the Springfield Fire Department Water Rescue Team responded to a mutual aid call from the Logan-Rogersville Fire Protection District. A vehicle had been swept off a bridge over the James River east of Springfield. In the pitch dark, two parents and their three children were desperately fighting for their lives against the swift, churning floodwater by clinging to trees. When the Springfield Fire team arrived, the victims had been holding on for 30 minutes and were yelling that they could not last much longer. A boat rescue attempt was immediately launched, piloted by Rescue Specialist Marc Becker. In the darkness, and with floodwaters roiling, the team’s single boat reached the victims. However, the boat did not have room for all of the victims and the adults were losing the strength to hold on and remain afloat. Firefighter Kuss volunteered to stay behind in the water with the adults as the three children were placed in life vests, pulled into the boat, and moved to the safety of the shore. With their resistance flagging in the frantic situation, Firefighter Kuss’s calm support and instructions for the adults was critical in saving the parents until the rescue boat could return and reunite them with their children on the shore.

Charles L. Gerhart, Missouri Capitol Police

2015 Class
Awarded on: 11/28/2016
Medal of Valor

On July 30, 2015, Officer Gerhart was off-duty and traveling with his family westbound on I-70 to Kansas City. Near Blue Springs, Gerhart observed a pickup truck in the eastbound lanes traveling at a high rate of speed crash into a vehicle that was stopped in construction traffic. The pickup then burst into flames. Gerhart stopped on the shoulder, left his family in his vehicle, ran across westbound traffic, jumped the median barriers, and quickly reached the burning vehicle. The driver had a broken pelvis, broken hip, multiple broken ribs and vertebrae and was trapped in the cab.

David L. Marshak and Bryan R. Taylor, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department

2015 Class
Awarded on: 11/28/2016
Medal of Valor

On Sept. 10, 2015, Captain Marshak and Corporal Taylor were in a patrol vehicle traveling northbound on Highway 141 when they observed a burning van on the highway shoulder. The vehicle had extensive damage due to a multi-vehicle collision and flames were shooting out of the car. Thick smoke made it impossible to see if anyone was inside the passenger compartment. Marshak used his baton to break the passenger window and then unlocked the door. He discharged a fire extinguisher, but it had virtually no effect. The fire was spreading, thick smoke continued to billow inside the passenger compartment, and leaking fuel under the vehicle was also burning. Taylor called out to the driver but there was no response, and the driver door would not open. Fighting the thick smoke, Taylor entered the cab through the passenger door and tried to extricate the driver. However, his seat belt would not release and the noxious smoke forced Taylor to leave the vehicle. Marshak then entered the van and continued the effort to remove the driver. Now conscious but disoriented, the 85-year-old man began resisting efforts to get him out. Fighting through the smoke, Marshak, assisted by a motorist, was able to dislodge the driver and pull him out of the burning vehicle to safety. Both Captain Marshak and Corporal Taylor were treated for smoke inhalation, and Marshak also received additional medical treatment for abrasions. Together, their efforts saved the elderly driver’s life.

Jason M. Hurt, Missouri State Highway Patrol

2015 Class
Awarded on: 11/28/2016
Medal of Valor

On Nov. 21, 2015, Trooper Hurt was off-duty and traveling in his personal vehicle in Monroe County. It was cold and had recently snowed, but Trooper Hurt noticed a barefoot woman on the side of the road. Hurt stopped and the woman stated her intoxicated boyfriend was attempting suicide in a nearby cabin and a neighbor was with him. Hurt responded to the cabin and found two men struggling over a rifle. He drew his handgun, entered the cabin, identified himself as a trooper and told the men to put down the rifle. The men continued to fight over the gun. With one man’s finger on the trigger and the rifle pointed toward the ceiling, Hurt holstered his weapon and attempted to seize the gun. A shot was fired into the ceiling but Hurt gained full control of the weapon, and ended the disturbance. The suicidal man was transported for a psychiatric evaluation. While off-duty, Trooper Hurt first came to the aid of a civilian in need of assistance, which led to him placing himself in harm’s way by entering a highly dangerous struggle over a loaded gun. His selfless and brave action ended the threat to both the suicidal man and the civilian.

David H. Brown and Robert W. Garrett, Missouri State Highway Patrol

2015 Class
Awarded on: 11/28/2016
Medal of Valor

Shortly after 2 a.m. on Dec. 27, 2015, as Missouri was experiencing record rainfall and flooding, Marine Operations Corporal Brown and Trooper Garrett responded to a call for a man clinging to a tree in the flooded Pomme De Terre River. The man had attempted to cross a bridge in Polk County on foot and was swept away. With no sign of the flood victim and his cries for help as their only guide, a jet boat was launched, operated by Garrett with Brown using a spotlight to search a tree line for the victim. Eventually locating the victim in a tree about 10 feet above the swift-moving floodwater, Corporal Garrett tactically maneuvered the boat through the turbulent water to the tree. Wet and hypothermic, the man slipped as he started to climb down. Unable to see him, Brown immediately dropped prone in the bow of the boat and reached both arms down in the roiling floodwater. He got hold of an arm and the man’s hair. The victim was devoid of strength and being pulled under by the current, but Brown got him into the boat and Garrett maneuvered it back to the safety of the shore. Corporal Brown and Trooper Garrett worked as a team using skill, decisiveness and bravery to overcome perilous circumstances and save the flood victim’s life.