Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith conferred awards on two deputy sheriffs yesterday (Wednesday, May 9th) for life-saving actions. The awards were given in a ceremony at the Sheriff’s Office headquarters in Carmel.
Deputy Sheriff Keith Blessing, a seven-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, received his Life-Saving Award for pulling a man out of a fiery car wreck along Milltown Road in Southeast on February 26, 2012. The rescued driver, a 23-year-old man from Southeast, was reportedly driving a 2004 Hyundai sedan eastbound on Milltown Road when his car ran off the road and overturned in a wooded area, bursting into flames. A resident in a nearby home heard the crash and, seeing the car ablaze, called 911. Deputy Sheriff Keith Blessing answered the 911 dispatch and was the first emergency responder on the scene. He found the driver entrapped within the burning car and pulled him free.
An excerpt from Deputy Blessing’s award citation reads, “For heroic actions performed in the line of duty with disregard for his own life and safety, resulting in the saving of a life.”
Deputy Sheriff Daniel Hunsberger, a six-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, received his award for resuscitating a child who had stopped breathing. On April 19, 2012, Deputy Hunsberger responded to a 911 call reporting that a two-year old boy was stricken and not breathing at his home on DeColores Drive in Carmel. When the deputy arrived at the house, he found the child lying lifeless on the kitchen floor. Acting quickly, and using the oxygen tank with which his patrol car is outfitted, Deputy Hunsberger administered oxygen to the boy and revived him.
Excerpts from Deputy Hunsberger’s award citation read, “[F]or… selfless action in the . .. outstanding performance of duty… resulting in the saving of a life.”