Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ultimate reward

Last night's Academy graduation was also the occasion of our semi-annual awards ceremony.  It's a great idea to combine these two events.  Our new officers, their families and friends, get to hear about exactly the kind of accomplishments their sons, daughters, moms, dads, husbands, wives, and friends will themselves be immersed in beginning the next day.  They also get to hear about the rather incredible amount of support and assistance we receive from citizens.

There were 20 officer awards last night, and 12 for citizens.  The Awards Committee chair, Capt. Jon Sundermeier, smoothly described the events leading to each award as the honoree stepped to the dais to accept a plaque from the Mayor and I.  It is impossible to describe each, but suffice it to say that an amazing array of heroic deeds and exceptional work was described.  One, however, stands out.

On Christmas Day, Officer Nate Hill was at home with his family.  His parents were among the guests, and in the early afternoon, his dad suffered a heart attack and stopped breathing.  Nate initiated CPR, and other family members called 911.  You will recall that on Christmas a raging blizzard swept across the State, paralyzing travel. It was a battle for Lincoln Fire & Rescue to make their way to the home, and even after Nate's dad was ready to be transported, the ambulance could not get underway.  Other officers were on their bellies, frantically digging with their hands under the chassis.  Tow straps were broken twice in the effort to pull the ambulance out with a 4WD pickup.  Ultimately, the City Public Works Department arrived with big equipment, and the ambulance escaped to the hospital.

Officers Nate Hill, Dustin Lind, Frank Foster, and Jason Brownell all received awards last night for their quick work, but the hardware was obviously not the real reward.  It was Nate's dad beaming in the audience.

I chatted with Nate's parents after the ceremony.  They could not have been prouder.  His dad could not be more grateful for God's amazing grace.  As he explained to me, the weather almost kept him at home, where he believed he likely would have died.  He had a new four wheel drive vehicle, though, and thought that they could make it to his son's house for Christmas dinner.  He made it, all right, thanks to the intervention of his own son and his colleagues.


Anonymous said...

Congrats to all the new crime fighters. I have a host of new and educational accidents posted. Some of the best and most odd this year. Once again, we can learn from other peoples mistakes. And pervent accidents by being aware.

Dave said...

I remember listening to the scanner that particular day, and remember well the troubles LPD and LFR had in getting around. Officer Hill is blessed that his father is still around after that bad storm and efforts it took to get him to the hospital. Good job to all involved.

And to all involved in busting up this meth network, excellent and outstanding job. Yeah, I smoke a little weed, but I have no use for meth or the people that sell it. Outstanding performance LPD!

Anonymous said...

Heroes aren't born, they're cornered.