2 Mich. sergeants to be honored for lifesaving efforts

"For them it's just day-to-day. They just do their job the best they can. It's not about the recognition"

By Police1 Staff 

TROY, Mich. — Two sergeants will be honored for risking their lives to save others. 

Royal Oak Sgt. Karly Wingart was on patrol Jan. 15, 2017 when she saw smoke coming from a bus, the Oakland Press reported. The driver of a Ford Fusion had crashed into a bus and a passenger was trapped inside the car. 

Wingart sprang into action as the engine of the Ford caught fire. She can be seen on dash camera footage climbing into the burning car to free the woman.

The woman’s legs were pinned under the dashboard, according to a press release. 

Once the woman was out, Wingart and an EMT moved her away from the car. As soon as Wingart knew the woman was in good hands, she switched gears to secure the scene. The driver, passenger and one bus rider were transported to the hospital and later released. 

Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue said in a statement that he is proud of his sergeant.

“I am very proud, but not surprised with Sgt. Wingart’s quick thinking and bravery,” he said. “With complete disregard for her own personal safety, she entered a burning vehicle to assist an injured passenger.”

Kalkaska Sgt. Blake Huff will be honored as well for his attempts to rescue a woman from a burning home. 

Officers responded to a house fire on Feb. 22 and discovered two people and two dogs were trapped inside, Up North Live reported. 

Police were able to get homeowner Grace Tester and the two dogs out, but Mary Jo Tester, a paraplegic, was still trapped inside. 

Huff and other officers went back into the home and pulled Mary Jo to safety. She was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. She died from her injuries days after the fire. 

"Do we recommend running into a burning building? No,” Lt. Glenn Artress said at the time. “However police officers make split decisions all the time. They got here, they assessed the situation, they knew each other and they knew what each other's abilities were and they carried out a plan."

Huff told 9&10 News that he was glad they could help, even if the situation ended on a sad note.

“I’m glad we could help and try to possibly save a life,” he said. “We try to do our best we can to prevent anything that happens like this and just do our job that we signed up to.”

Both sergeants will be honored at the Law Enforcement Education Program Outstanding Service Awards on Sept. 22 during the Police Officers Labor Council/General Employees Labor Council Conference.

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