Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
www.dps.state.ia.us

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
October 4, 2016 amurphy@dps.state.ia.us
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

2016 Sullivan Brothers' Award of Valor and Historic Valor Award Cermony Tomorrow

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) will host the annual Sullivan Brothers’ Award of Valor Ceremony on Wednesday, October 5, 2016. The event will take place at the State Capitol Rotunda at 3:00PM.

Governor Branstad and DPS Commissioner Roxann Ryan will honor seven individuals with the 2016 Sullivan Brothers’ Award of Valor and three individuals with the Historic Valor Award for their heroic efforts in saving the lives of Iowans during critical times of need.

2016 Sullivan Brothers' Award of Valor Recipients:

Lieutenant Dennis Mernka, Fort Dodge Police Department
Officer Nathan Eldredge, Fort Dodge Police Department
Trooper Matt Eimers, Iowa State Patrol, District 7

On the morning of Saturday, December 12, 2015, these three law enforcement officers responded to a call of a distressed man on the Union Pacific Railroad Bridge over the Des Moines River basin in Fort Dodge. They will be honored for their heroic actions of saving a man’s life after he attempted to jump off of the bridge.

Captain Derek Brown, Cedar Falls Fire Rescue
Firefighter Shane Farmer, Cedar Falls Fire Rescue
Firefighter T.J. Taylor, Cedar Falls Fire Rescue
Firefighter Troy Purdy, Cedar Falls Fire Rescue

On February 7, 2016, the above members of the Cedar Falls Fire Rescue responded to a house fire where three people were trapped—a mother and her two children. These men will be honored for their heroic actions of entering a very dangerous burning house and saving three lives.

2016 Historic Valor Award Recipients:

Noel Harlan, former Keosauqua Fire Chief
Mr. Harlan will be recognized for his heroic actions of saving a man who was on fire near Harlan’s house on September 14, 2014.

Former Deputy Sheriff David Elledge, Delaware County Sheriff’s Office
The Late Dunca Gross, Former Deputy Sheriff – Delaware County Sheriff’s Office
On November 6, 1981, David Elledge and Duncan Gross, both Deputies with the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, responded to a disturbance in rural Delaware County where a dangerous armed suspect took refuge in a wooded area.  Resisting arrest, the assailant fired five rounds from his .357 magnum at David Elledge, striking him once in the abdomen and once in the foot. Deputy Elledge’s life was spared in no small measure by the decisive actions taken by Duncan Gross to disarm the suspect and render lifesaving assistance to his fallen comrade. Both Gross and Elledge survived this event. Gross eventually retired from law enforcement and has since passed away. Elledge eventually went on to become a DNR officer and has since retired after a lengthy, honorable career.

The Sullivan Brothers' Award of Valor shall be awarded to peace officers and firefighters who, while serving in an official capacity, distinguished themselves by the performance of an heroic act in excess of normal demands of police or fire service where the person was fully aware of the threat to his/her personal safety, in the past fiscal year.

The Historic Valor Award shall be awarded to peace officers and firefighters who, while serving in an official capacity, distinguished themselves by the performance of an heroic act in excess of normal demands of police or fire service where the person was fully aware of the threat to his/her personal safety. This heroic action could have taken place during any timeframe.

Media Contact: Alex Murphy, Public Information Officer, DPS Investigative Operations, Office of the Commissioner, (515) 443-3014, amurphy@dps.state.ia.us

 

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