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Law enforcement save man from burning house, receive award for bravery/heroism

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Bravery Heroism

By Emily Banks Wooten
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Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons recognized Corporal Roper Ellison and Deputy Darin Brooks for saving a man from his burning home, presenting them with heroism and bravery awards, during a moving ceremony Dec. 22.

On the morning of Dec. 19, dispatch received a call that a residence in the 400 block of Don Reily Drag in Wiggins Village No. 2 was on fire and that the homeowner, who was disabled and in a wheelchair, had made it to the front porch but could not exit the residence which was fully engulfed.

“It was a large fire and they stepped out of the vehicle and ran into the house on fire,” Lyons said.

Both men ran into the fire with Ellison physically picking up the homeowner and carrying him from the fire and Brooks ensuring that both his partner and the homeowner made it to safety.

“I am a very proud sheriff. I’m honored to stand here today and talk about the bravery and courage these men displayed last Sunday. These guys get out of bed, leave their wives and kids, not knowing if they’ll return to their homes at the end of the day,” Lyons said.

“This is what I’m talking about when I say honor. They have the love of community. A lot of my guys are from right here. They know the community. They know the culture,” Lyons said.

“I was listening to this on the radio. They were on point. They were taking care of business. First, the hair on the back of your neck stood up and then the tears flowed. This is selflessness, courage, honor,” Lyons said.

The sheriff cited the General Norman Schwarzkopf quote about courage, “True courage is being afraid, and going ahead and doing your job anyhow, that’s what courage is.”

Lyons played the video from the dash cam for those attending the ceremony. He said that just 20 seconds later the entire porch was engulfed.

“A lot of times we’re left out, but law enforcement officers are heroes. They stepped out on faith when they exited that vehicle to save a life they didn’t know. Heroes wear a badge,” Lyons said, adding, “Both had other careers before they came into law enforcement, but they both had the zeal that they wanted to serve their community.

“It tugs on your heartstrings a little bit,” Lyons said.

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