First responders and civilians to be honored for 2022 heroic acts in Missouri

Great seal of Missouri and US Flag

On Thursday, September 28, the State of Missouri will award Missouri Public Safety medals to 18 first responders for their heroic acts beyond the call of duty performed in 2022.

Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe will present 10 Missouri Medals of Valor to those who demonstrated exceptional courage and heroism in efforts to protect or save human life. Additionally, Lt. Governor Kehoe will present nine Red, White, and Blue Heart Awards to first responders who were seriously or fatally injured in the line of duty. Six of the Red, White, and Blue Heart awards will be given posthumously. One first responder is receiving both awards.

Lt. Governor Kehoe will also honor four civilians with awards for their exceptional acts in assisting first responders in 2022.

Presentation of Missouri Public Safety Medals – Medal of Valor, Red, White, and Blue Heart Award, and Public Safety Civilian Partnership Award at 1:30 p.m.  Awards will take place at the 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 beginning at 1:30 p.m. at this link on Facebook.

Award Recipients:

  • Public Safety Civilian Partnership Award:
    • Kevin Jeffries and Justin Parrack: Nominated by Missouri State Highway Patrol for risking their lives to stop a runaway vehicle traveling the wrong way on a state highway and then performing CPR on the driver who had a heart attack.
    • Shane Childress: Nominated by Branson Police Department for his role in saving lives after a head-on collision and vehicle fire near his restaurant.
    • Joseph Sapp: Nominated by Branson Police Department for assisting a police officer being assaulted in an apartment complex parking lot.
  • Medal of Valor:
    • Trooper Adam R. Shipley, Missouri State Highway Patrol: For ending an abduction in southeast Missouri.
    • Capt. William Davis and Officer Rick Hirshey, Joplin Police Department: For neutralizing a threat from a gunman in Joplin.
    • Capt. Barry Morgan, Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office, and Trooper Joshua J. Schuenemeyer, Missouri State Highway Patrol: For rescuing a driver from a burning truck after a major crash on Interstate 57 in southeast Missouri.
    • Agent Donald Fessler, Missouri Department of Conservation: For his efforts after an Amtrak train crash near Mendon, Mo.
    • Sgt. Tanner Muckenthaler and Officer Brendan Gamble, Branson Police Department: For rescuing a man from a burning vehicle.
    • Deputy Sheriff Shane Blankenship, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, and Cpl. Terry Bible, Missouri State Highway Patrol: For rescuing a driver from a burning truck in Lawrence County.
  • Red, White, and Blue Heart Award:
    • Firefighter Benjamin Polson, St. Louis Fire Department: Killed during a fire in St. Louis.
    • Cpl. Benjamin L. Cooper, Officer Jake A. Reed, and Officer Rick Hirshey, Joplin Police Department: Injured during a disturbance call in Joplin.
    • Patrolman Lane Burns and Cpl. Garrett Worley, Bonne Terre Police Department: Ambushed during a call at a motel.
    • Firefighter Dustin Brandhorst, Ebenezer Fire Protection District: Died in a vehicle accident.
    • Officer Daniel F. Vasquez, North Kansas City Police Department: Fatally shot during a traffic stop.
    • Capt. Craig Cook, Fort Osage Fire Protection District: Injured during a brush fire in Jackson County.