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Missouri Public Safety Medals awarded to first responder and civilian heroes

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – This morning, Governor Mike Parson awarded Missouri Public Safety Medals to a total of 23 first responders and four civilians for heroic and life-saving actions during 2021. The awards are Missouri’s highest recognition for first responders acting during critical incidents. This year, for the first time, the ceremony included the presentation of Missouri’s new Red, White, and Blue Heart Award, which is awarded to individuals seriously injured or killed in the line of duty. Three of the five Red, White, and Blue Hearts were conferred posthumously.

“Missouri’s first responders deserve our respect and appreciation for the work they do to protect their fellow citizens, and the heroic acts performed by those honored today make absolutely clear the dangers these courageous individuals are willing to face on our behalf,” Governor Mike Parson said. “Their actions saved lives and ended threats to their communities. We especially will never forget the tremendous sacrifices of those whose courage left them permanently scarred or even cost them their lives  all to keep others safe.”

Four civilians were also honored with the Public Safety Civilian Partnership Award for their brave acts to save the lives of others or provide vital assistance to first responders while risking their own safety.

Family members and colleagues were on hand for the awards presentation during the Jefferson City ceremony. Parson awarded the,

Medal of Valor: Missouri’s highest award recognizing public safety officers who exhibit exceptional courage, extraordinary decisiveness and presence of mind, and unusual swiftness of action, regardless of his or her personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life. This award was given to:

-Jeffrey D. Collins and John G. Lehman of the Jefferson City Police Department

-Timothy L. Shipp of the Eureka Police Department

-Zim Schwartze Missouri Capitol Police

-William j. Knittel Jr. and Michael E. Werges of the Eureka Police Department

-Jeffrey A. Hilke of Cole County Sheriff’s Office

-Dawson M. Payne and John G. Lehman of the Jefferson City Police Department

-Kurt A. Schmutzler and Bradley E. Maudlin of the Missouri State Highway Patrol

-Colton J. Beck of the Missouri State Highway Patrol


Public Safety Civilian Partnership Award: Awarded to a civilian who has provided valuable or courageous assistance to members of a Missouri public safety agency in an emergency situation. This award was given to:

-Justin M. Flynn, nominated by Eureka Police Department

-Joshua James-Troutt and Travis Terry, nominated by Callaway County Sheriff’s Office

-Bryan Yarbrough, nominated by Bolivar City Fire Department


Red, White and Blue Heart Award: This is the first year the Red, White, and Blue Heart Award is being awarded. The annual award may be presented to any first responder who under honorable circumstances is critically, seriously, or fatally injured while performing official duties in the line of duty. The injury must require long-term treatment by a medical professional and considerable loss of time from duty. Parson gave this award to:

-Blaize A. Madrid-Evans of the Independence Police Department

-Antonio A. Valentine of the St. Louis County Police Department

-Bryant E. Gladney, of the Boone County Fire Protection District

-Robert C. Bridges of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board

-Colton J. Beck of the Missouri State Highway Patrol

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