Three United States Park Police Officers received the Department of the Interior’s highest award for valor.
Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, presented them with this prestigious award at the Department of the Interior 66th annual Honor Awards Convocation on May 6, 2009.
On February 11, 2008, United States Park Police Officers Angelo D. Herron and Michael W. Young and Sergeant Russell E. Fennelly, all assigned to District 4, responded to a motor vehicle crash on the Baltimore Washington Parkway in Greenbelt, MD. The crashed vehicle had struck a tree, overturned, and was on fire.
The sole occupant was pinned in the vehicle with his legs trapped under the dashboard and front console.
The flames from the vehicle fire lit a brush fire next to the vehicle further complicating rescue efforts.
Officer Herron attempted to free the occupant with no success. Officer Young and Sergeant Fennelly arrived and tried to assist in this rescue.
With the fire growing in size and spreading towards the fuel tank, Officer Herron continued his efforts to free the pinned driver while Officer Young and Sergeant Fennelly worked from both sides of the vehicle with fire extinguishers in an attempt to halt the spread of the flames.
These efforts succeeded and the fire was put out.
The driver was finally removed by the Fire Department using heavy extrication equipment and found to have a broken leg and broken pelvis.
The Officers were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.
Without the heroic efforts of these three, the car crash victim would certainly have perished.