Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ames police win award, national attention

Ames Police Chief Chuck Cychosz speaks at Tuesday's City Council of how Officer Clint Hertz and Lt. Jeff Brinkley pulled a man from a burning car on Dec. 27, 2007. Hertz and Brinkley received the Award of Valor, the department's highest honor.
The patrol car video of Lt. Jeff Brinkley and Officer Clint Hertz dragging an unconscious man from a burning vehicle has garnered national attention and was shown, yet again, at the Ames City Council meeting Tuesday night.
Family, friends, colleagues and local news media packed the council chambers of Ames City Hall to watch Brinkley and Hertz receive Awards of Valor from the Ames Police Department for their actions. The award is the department's highest honor.
Brinkley was the first responder to the scene of a car fire in the parking lot of North Grand Mall on the evening of Dec. 27. He broke a window of the vehicle to clear smoke and was joined soon after by Hertz. The two men discovered the unconscious accident victim, Justin Hallberg, and were able to drag him to safety just as the car became engulfed in flames. Medical personnel believe Hallberg had only seconds before being overcome by smoke inhalation.
Police have said Hallberg's car collided with a light pole, which is what caused the vehicle to start on fire.
Since the department's release of the video on Jan. 18, it has been picked up by television affiliates across the country, covered by CNN TV and posted on
Police Chief Chuck Cychosz commended the officers for their actions. He also thanked the dispatchers, the Ames Fire Department and Mary Greeley medical services, which assisted the officers' speedy response. Cychosz expressed special consideration to the officer's wives, Lisa Brinkley and Stacy Hertz, who "watched this event through special eyes."
The awards, presented by Commanders Jim Robinson and Randy Kessel and Support Services Manager Doug Houghton, were followed by a standing ovation from the crowd. A reception followed across the hall for family, friends and well-wishers.
Full story here.

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