Pittsburgh police officers honored for their bravery
Dozens of Pittsburgh police officers received awards Monday at a ceremony meant to recognize those who go above and beyond what is asked of them, police officials said, including five officers awarded the bureau’s Medal of Valor.
“This is just a small portion of what we see each and every day in the city of Pittsburgh with the level of work that our officers do — who go out each and every day and put their lives on the line for complete strangers,” said Chief Scott Schubert.
Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said police officers often are in a unique position because they’re often called upon to do it all.
“They’re not only police officers, they can potentially be medics or EMTs, and they can be firefighters, too, because they’re the first on the scene,” Hissrich said. “These awards are just a reflection of what is done every day.”
The Medal of Valor was awarded to five officers who rushed into a burning home last year and rescued a child inside:
Sgt. Thomas Gault and Officers Shenandoah Welsh, Maxfield Holz, Kalieb Hines, Austin Weaver, Zachery Webb and Richard Dilimone.
“These officers stepped up and they did everything they could, putting themselves in jeopardy to get inside to help the child inside,” Schubert said.
Schubert said the sergeant and patrolmen got to the Anthony Street home on June 13 before fire crews, and they began working on their own to get to the 5-year-old boy trapped inside.
“They worked to pull the hoses, connect the hoses, they helped fight the fire,” Schubert said. “They were fighting the fire.”
They went into the unstable, smoke-filled home through the basement and worked through the flames without protective gear to reach the child, he said.
They were among the dozens of officers who were honored at the ceremony at the Community College of Allegheny County.
“What you do each and every day just blows my mind, because you could go out and you could just do your job,” Schubert said to the officers. “But that’s not who we are. We’re police officers, we’re cops, we want to go out and we want to keep the city safe, we want to keep the people safe, we want to help people. And I’m forever grateful for what you do.”
The following officer recived a Certificate of Commendation: Craig Claflin, Aaron Spangler, Andrew Notbohm, Aaron Fetty, Glenn Bogert, Zola Rayna, Paul Froelich, Phillip Mercurio, Richard Glass, Dale Ruble, Jamie Pascucci, Kalista Kelly, Douglas Weaver, Joseph Giles, Susan Hillen, Shenandoah Welsch, John Suzensky, Bryce Valencic, Jena Bednarowicz, Aaron Conner, Eric Harpster, Edward Fallert, Joseph Fabus, Garrett Spory, Martin Kail
These officers received a Bureau citation: Jared Littler, Eric Weinheimer, Aaron Davis, Ian Henderson, David Syska, Kevin Clark and Robert Fraino
Branch operations awards to given to Joseph Nicholas, Maxwell Palinski, Jeffrey Wingard
The Administration award went to Caytlin Wood
Joseph Lewis received the Leadership award.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter .