Osceola County deputies recognized for saving lives

REED CITY — Two men’s lives were saved by Osceola County Sheriff’s deputies following a fiery rollover crash in September. On Thursday, those deputies were recognized for their actions.

Oscolea County Sheriff’s deputies Chad Jasman and Andrew Knapp were presented with the Life Saving Award and certificates from Osceola County Sheriff Jim Crawford and Undersheriff Justin Halladay.

On Sept. 28, Jasman and Knapp were in pursuit of a speeding vehicle, which ultimately crashed and rolled several times near 7 Mile Road and 220th Avenue, in Osceola County. When deputies caught up to the overturned car, they found the driver and his passenger were trapped in the burning vehicle, but could not be removed because of the extensive damage to the car. The deputies quickly extinguished the fire and provided life-saving medical assistance until EMS and firefighters arrived to secure the scene.

“These guys are police officers,” Halladay said. “They are trained to handle these situations, but it isn’t part of their daily duties to do these things. For them to be able to be all-encompassing and act as a police officer, a firefighter and a paramedic so quickly, it’s pretty impressive.”

Jasman and Knapp went above and beyond by going into the vehicle while it was on fire and rendering aid, Halladay said.

“You contained your nerves and through your actions you focused on what was important, which was saving their lives. These individuals made some very poor decisions and ran from you, but they are alive because of the fact that you both are professionals,” Halladay said while presenting the deputies with their awards.

“We appreciate the job you do,” Crawford added.

The awards were kept secret from Jasman and Knapp, and both were surprised to receive the honors.

“It’s a nice feeling,” Jasman said. “I definitely wasn’t expecting this at all.”

Officers do work worthy of recognition in many different circumstances, but in the busyness of the job it can be overlooked, Halladay said.

“When we can take a moment to step back and recognize some of the services our officers do, we need to,” Halladay said. “This award is for this time, but they’ve earned it ten-fold. I’m sure they’ve previously done things to warrant this award and will continue to in the future.”