Wednesday, March 11, 2015
American Legion Honors 3 Troopers as Heroes
The American Legion honored three New York State troopers with heroism awards March 9 during Department Commander Frank Peters’ official visitation to Columbia County.
Peters and Columbia County American Legion Commander William Hogan presented American Legion Gold Medals for Heroism to State Police Sgt. Paul E. Strobel and Trooper Matthew Colwell, and then awarded the American Legion Medal of Valor to Trooper David G. Rose.
The citations noted that:
— Sergeant Strobel fought his way through dense smoke to rescue a woman and 7-month-old infant trapped in a mobile home fire.
— Trooper Colwell rescued a woman in a smoke-filled retirement home and then returned to extinguish the fire. In another incident, he discovered a suicide attempt, with a wound to the neck. He administered first aid and summoned emergency responders.
— Trooper Rose responded to a 911 call about a “suicidal man wielding an ax.” Upon arriving on scene, he determined that the man used the ax to access a gun cabinet, and found the distraught man with the barrel of a shotgun in his mouth with his finger on the trigger. Spotting military photos on the wall, the trooper connected with the veteran, sharing the hardships of his veteran brother when discharged from service, and was able to talk the man into surrendering the gun.
Commander Peters praised and thanked the troopers for putting themselves in harm’s way and for their commitment to the citizens of New York State.