Severin Rescue Award

Dave Severin, right, presents certificates of recognition to Franklin County public servants Tuesday during the West Frankfort City Council Meeting.


WEST FRANKFORT — For their acts of bravery during April’s flooding, seven Franklin County public servants who rescued a stranded driver were honored Tuesday by the Illinois House of Representatives.

During the West Frankfort City Council meeting Tuesday, Detective Jeff Tharp, Officer James Trogolo, Officer Jason Yunker, firefighter Gary A. Little, firefighter Matt Morthland, citizen Dustin Shelton, and citizen Scotty O’Daniel each received certificates of recognition from the Illinois House. Rep. Dave Severin, R–Benton, was in attendance to present the awards.

According to a news release, on April 29, as a result of heavy flooding, a vehicle was swept off of the road with the driver still inside. The West Frankfort Police and Fire departments were dispatched to the scene and were assisted by community members to free the driver.

“Each of them will say they were simply doing their job, or did what anyone else would have done in that situation, however they truly went above and beyond,” Severin said.

West Frankfort Police Chief Mike Irwin had similar praise.

“These guys deserve every bit of the recognition they are receiving,” Irwin said. He added that it is encouraging for officers and other public servants to have their work recognized so publicly.



Isaac Smith is a reporter covering Franklin, Perry and Saline counties.

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