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Local Troopers Presented Valor Awards For Water Rescue in Douglas County

Troopers Jason Philpott and Daniel Johnson are shown accepting their Valor Awards at the annual awards ceremony of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Pictured from left are Tpr. Philpott and wife, Ashley; Cpl. Amye Johnson holding daughter, Allye; Tpr. Daniel Johnson; and Col. Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Colonel Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, would like to congratulate the 23 employees honored at the Patrol’s annual awards and The MASTERS banquet recently.
Held at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia, family, friends, and members of The MASTERS (Missouri Association of State Troopers Emergency Relief Society) gathered to honor the heroes of 2013.
Troop C’s Color Guard presented the colors while retired Chief Operator Roger M. Heard played the bagpipes. Trooper Andrew A. Armstrong, Troop F, sang the national anthem. Pastor Phillip C. Dooley, of Gower, MO, gave the invocation and benediction.
Colonel Ron Replogle presented the awards.
Among those recognized were Troopers Jason W. Philpott and Daniel J. Johnson, of Troop G, who rescued an elderly couple when flood waters were rising on their mobile home south of Ava last April.
Following is the story:
On April 18, 2013, Douglas County experienced very heavy rain, which resulted in flooding in several areas. Troop G received a call that an elderly couple was trapped in their mobile home due to the rising waters of a nearby creek.
Officers from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, and local fire departments responded to the scene just off Missouri Route A and County Road 409. Trooper Daniel J. Johnson and Trooper Jason W. Philpott were among those who responded.
When officers arrived on the scene, they found floodwaters from Spring Creek completely surrounding the mobile home and rising. Trooper Johnson and Trooper Philpott launched the Patrol’s rescue boat from a nearby field and maneuvered through the floodwaters to the front porch of the mobile home.
Trooper Johnson then entered the residence, outfitted the elderly couple with personal floatation devices, and helped them safely board the rescue vessel.
As Trooper Philpott began to pull away from the flooded residence, the vessel’s motor stalled. The vessel began to turn in the swift water. Trooper Johnson and Trooper Philpott worked quickly to realign the vessel upstream; however, the current was too swift and the vessel quickly began taking on water. The troopers paddled vigorously in an effort to reach a nearby outbuilding. However, the vessel took on too much water and capsized. All four occupants were tossed into the swift current and began drifting downstream toward a concrete bridge.
Just beyond this flooded bridge was a webbed wire fence, which was collecting loose debris from the current. Trooper Johnson and Trooper Philpott acted quickly. The troopers, each holding onto one of the elderly residents, swam diligently against the swift current and brought them to the water’s edge a few feet from the edge of the concrete bridge. Emergency personnel treated the elderly couple at the scene; they fully recovered from the incident.
Trooper Daniel J. Johnson and Trooper Jason W. Philpott performed an extraordinary act of heroism in a situation involving considerable personal danger. Their actions extended far above and beyond the call of duty. Their performance is in keeping with the highest tradition of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
The MASTERS Public Service Award was presented to Sgt. Douglas J. Hedrick, Troop A.
The Career Milestone Award for 1,000 DWI arrests was presented to Tpr. John L. Mason, Troop D.
Lifesaving awards were presented to Tpr. Evan T. Hane, Troop I; Tpr. Coby G. Holzschuh, Troop F; Tpr. Michael T. Weakley, Troop G; Cpl. Steven H. Crabtree, Troop I; Cpl. Thomas L. Hall, Troop D; Cpl. Scott L. Nelson, Troop G; Cpl. Joshua D. Owens, Troop A.
Meritorious Service Awards were presented to Tpr. Adam J. Michels, Troop C; Tpr. Joseph S. Palmer, Troop E; Trooper Brooks A. Pratt, Troop E; Tpr. Christopher J. Sullivan, Troop H; Tpr. Zachary S. Wang, Troop C; Cpl. Lance D. DeClue, Troop I; Sgt. Justin L. McCullough, Troop I; Cpl. Kyle E. Easley, Troop B; Sgt. Nicholas D. Berry, Troop B.
The 2013 Civilian of the Year Award was presented to Automotive Technician III Tyson C. Getman, Troop D.
The Benjamin Oliver Booth Officer of the Year Award was presented to Tpr. Zachery K. Bryan, Troop D.