HAZELWOOD, Mo. – Hazelwood police officers were honored Wednesday for getting 80 people to safety from an apartment complex during July’s historic flash flooding.
At the Hazelwood City Council meeting, seven officers were awarded the Distinguished Service Citations for Valor for their heroic actions. A civilian who jumped in to help the officers was awarded the Citizens Service Award.
The rescue happened at the Reserve at Winding Creek Apartments on Normandie Court. Officers who arrived at the scene saw that the quickly rising water was threatening tenants. They waded into the chest-deep water going from door to door to get residents to safety.
The officers carried people out through the flooded parking lots avoiding debris and even vehicles that were being moved around by the flood water.
The following received awards Wednesday night: Sergeant Ryan Counterman, Officer Josh Little, Officer Ryan Ratica, Officer Mark Schmidt, Officer Shane Olmsted, Officer Timothy Snipes, and Officer Jon Whelchel.
The civilian awardee is Christopher Vasser. He was in the process of saving his truck when he observed the officers saving people. Vasser had jumped in to assist the police. Through the efforts of the first responders and the civilian, everyone got out of the flooded complex safely.