Last December, the Redwood Falls Police created several new awards to recognize officers and citizens who go above and beyond, in some cases putting their own lives at risk.
The first two awards were presented by Police Chief Mark Dressen and Mayor Gary Revier in the city council chambers last week.
Officer Rachel Johnson
On July 19, 2912, the police department got an emergency call from the park — a man had fallen off the cliff alongside Ramsey Falls onto the granite below.
One of the first to arrive at the scene was Officer Johnson, who the award presentation noted, “arrived at the scene quickly, and observed an individual lying face-down in the water.
“She observed what appeared to be bubbles around the male’s head, and (believed) the individual might still be alive.
“Despite instruction to wait for emergency personnel, Officer Johnson slid down the steep embankment at risk to herself and rendered first aid to the unconscious victim.
“The victim was later lifted by rescue personnel and transported to the hospital for treatment. The individual is alive today, and owes his survival to Officer Johnson’s quick actions that day.”
For her service on that day, Johnson was presented the Chief’s Commendation Award, “presented to officers who “provide a service that is carried out in a superior manner”, such as lifesaving efforts, or community service.
Presenting the award to Johnson in the council chambers on Feb. 19, Mayor Gary Revier mentioned her actions in the context of his past military service, claiming that if she were in the Army, he’d nominate her for a silver star.
On Jan. 24, the Redwood Falls Fire Department was called to Lakeside Manor apartments for a fire.
Meeting them there was resident Rex Boots.
Redwood Falls Fire Chief Matt Grave described his reason for nominating Boots for the special recognition.”
“Enroute to the scene, I was informed by dispatch that there were residents still inside the smoke-filled building,” Grave stated.
“Upon arriving at the scene, I was met by Rex in the parking lot. He informed me that not all the residents were out of the building.
“The Fire department had started rescue operations ao the apartment numbers that dispatch had told us of.
“At that time, Rex started giving me names of people he had not yet seen out of the building. I relayed those apartment numbers to the assistant chief, and search crews.
“Rex and I would then go into the lobby and check the tenant list. He would give me a few more apartment numbers to have searched.
Page 2 of 2 - “Rex was a great help to myself, the fire department, and his fellow residents at Lakeside. Without his help, calmy pinpointing those apartments that still had potential residents inside, our search would have taken longer and there would have been potentially more loss of lives.”
For his actions, going back into the building repeatedly to help find residents, Boots was given the Outstanding Citizen Award, presented to “citizens who significantly assis or support the efforts of the Redwood Falls Police Department to achieve its mission.”
After the awards were presented, Johnson and Boots were given a standing ovation by the council and spectators.