FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 02, 2022


Governor Parson to Award Missouri Public Safety Medals to First Responders and Civilians from Across State in Jefferson City Ceremony

Award ceremony includes presentation of new Red, White and Blue Heart Award for first responders seriously injured or killed in line of duty

On Wednesday, September 7, Governor Mike Parson will present 23 first responders with Missouri Public Safety medals for heroic, life-saving or extraordinary acts beyond the call of duty to protect the public performed during 2021. The Governor will award, for the first time, Missouri’s new Red, White and Blue Heart Award to first responders severely injured in the line of duty. Three of the Red, White and Blue Heart Awards will be bestowed posthumously. The Governor will also present four civilians awards for exceptional acts to assist first responders and the public during 2021.

Wednesday, September 7

WHO:               Governor Mike Parson

                         Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten

WHAT:           Presentation of Missouri Public Safety Medals – Medal of Valor, Governor’s Medal, Public Safety Civilian Partnership Award, and Red, White and Blue Heart Award  

WHEN:          10 a.m.

WHERE:         Missouri State Highway Patrol

Law Enforcement Training Academy Gymnasium

1510 East Elm Street
Jefferson City, MO 65102

(The ceremony will be streamed live on the Missouri Department of Public Safety page: facebook.com/MoPublicSafety)

The award recipients are:

Medal of Valor:

Officers Jeffrey D. Collins (Ret.) and John G. Lehman, Jefferson City Police Department, for ending the threat posed by man with a large knife.
Officer Timothy L. Shipp, Eureka Police Department, for the rescue of a disabled woman trapped in burning house.
Chief Zim Schwartze, Missouri Capitol Police, for her efforts to save the lives of two men at a house fire.
Lt. Michael E. Werges and Sgt. William J. Knittel Jr., Eureka Police Department, for the rescue of two children and ending the threat posed by a gunman. 
Deputy Sheriff Jeffrey A. Hilke, Cole County Sheriff’s Office, for his ending the threat posed by a gunman.
Officers Dawson M. Payne and John G. Lehman, Jefferson City Police Department, for ending the threat posed by a gunman.
Sgt. Kurt A. Schmutzler and Cpl. Bradley E. Maudlin, Missouri State Highway Patrol, for the swift water rescue or evacuation of 27 people during flash flooding.  
Trooper Colton J. Beck, Missouri State Highway Patrol, for his efforts to apprehend a gunman despite being shot and severely injured.  

Governor’s Medal:

Lt. Shanna M. Ostendorf , Sgt. Kyle R. Embrey, Sgt. Kristin N. Engle and  Officers Justin W. Bryant, Michael W. Deck, Dawn M. Neuman, John F. O’Neill IV and Robert J. Tosie for springing to action while off duty protect lives when gunfire broke out between rival outlaw motorcycle gangs.

Public Safety Civilian Partnership Award:

Justin M. Flynn, nominated by Eureka Police Department, for his role in the rescue of a disabled woman trapped in a burning house. 
Joshua James-Troutt and Travis Terry, nominated by Callaway County Sheriff’s Office, for bravely assisting a deputy sheriff who was being assaulted along a highway. 
Bryan Yarbrough, nominated by Bolivar City Fire Department, for the rescue of two people from a burning house.

Red, White and Blue Heart Award:

Officer Blaize A. Madrid-Evans, Independence Police Department, was killed in the line of duty when he responded to a residence and a wanted felon quickly removed a gun from his waistband as he spun around and fired, mortally wounding Officer Madrid-Evans.
Detective Antonio A. Valentine, St. Louis County Police Department, was killed in the line of duty while en route to assist other officers and his police vehicle was struck by a vehicle whose driver was fleeing from police.
Asst. Chief Bryant E. Gladney, Boone County Fire Protection District, was killed in the line of duty when a tractor trailer traveling at a high rate of speed crashed into Gladney’s vehicle, which had taken a blocking/warning position at the scene of an earlier truck crash.
Park Ranger Robert C. Bridges, Springfield-Greene County Park Board, was shot six times and severely injured by a gunman while Bridges was part of a law enforcement perimeter set up after the gunman caused a disturbance at a Springfield business.
Trooper Colton J. Beck, Missouri State Highway Patrol, was hit in the face and upper body by a shotgun blast and lost an eye after a motorist fled from a traffic stop and shot Beck as the trooper approached his disabled vehicle.  



-END-

For more information, call 573-751-5432 or e-mail mike.o'connell@dps.mo.gov