An Iowa state trooper and a Lee County sheriff?s deputy were honored Wednesday during a special ceremony at the statehouse. Trooper Tom Law of Burlington and Sheriff?s Deputy Bradley Roberts were both given the Sullivan Brothers Award of Valor, an honor designed for peace officers and firefighters who perform heroic acts on the job.
Deputy Roberts received the award for pulling three victims from icy water when the truck they were riding in hit a culvert last April. He says he could see the driver had tried to get out of the vehicle but he was still belted in, with his head partly out of the water. The deputy cut him out of the seatbelt and helped him to shore, then did the same with the other two. “I hate to think what would have happened if I hadn’t been there at that time.” Roberts says it?s nice to be recognized by the governor, but says he was just doing his job.
Trooper Tom Law of Burlington was honored for pulling three victims from an overturned van in June, and then holding the driver until more help arrived. Law tells how he crawled into the van and wrapped his arms around the driver’s chest and “did a lift,” to put his neck into a neutral position, and the man started breathing again. Then he just held the victim until fire and rescue showed up to extract the man from the van.
A doctor told him the man probably would have died if he hadn’t repositioned him, because he’d stopped breathing. Law stayed with the man even though gasoline was spilling onto the roadway, threatening an explosion.