First responders honored for going above and beyond at Valor First Responders Awards

Several Valor First Responder Awards lie on a table at a recognition ceremony Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 at the Doubletree Inn, 200 McDonald Drive. Local organizers presented the awards to first responders recognized for acts taken during life-threatening situations.

In June 2017, Kansas Highway Patrol Master Trooper Rodney King responded to a noninjury accident in Eudora. King had no idea he’d receive an award for his work that day.

The driver had hit a high-pressure gas meter. He was convulsing in his car when King and Master Deputy Bryon Revell of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office arrived on scene. King said the gas was as loud as a jet engine, but that didn’t stop him from approaching the car and pulling the man to safety.

“After I heard the man screaming, I couldn’t not go in,” King said.

King and Revell were given the Silver Valor Award on Friday. Local organizers on Friday night held the seventh annual Valor First Responders Awards, given to Lawrence and Douglas County first responders.

Honorees are nominated by their own departments for “life-saving acts or going above and beyond,” said Valor Chairperson and Douglas County Commissioner Michelle Derusseau.

“In Douglas County, we are grateful for our selfless, dedicated, passionate and professional first responders,” Derusseau said.

This year, 36 first responders from 17 agencies were selected for awards. Although the winners were praised for standout performance in high-risk situations, many honorees were quick to say it was just part of their job.

“I’d do it again and again and again,” King said.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly listed a sponsor for the event.