May 26, 2012

SandBoxBlogs: Delta County Independent "Deputies are true heroes "

Kathy Browning:
"On April 19, around 11:30 p.m., Hotchkiss deputies Chad Lloyd and Gates Shaklee were called to a structure fire at 260 East Orchard Street.

Marshal Dan Miller learned about the bravery of his two deputies the morning after the fire from Hotchkiss Fire Chief Doug Fritz.

At the May 10 Hotchkiss Town Council meeting Miller, Fritz and Mayor Wendell Koontz spoke about the incident during a ceremony where the deputies' valor was recognized.

The deputies entered the apartment which was engulfed with flames and smoke, Miller said. They attempted but were unable to extinguish the blaze.

Lloyd and Shaklee went into the apartment on their hands and knees to locate the victim, Jerry Bledsoe. They were able to pull him to safety from the bathroom. Bledsoe was later flown to Greeley to receive treatment for his critical burns.

"The atmosphere in that apartment was immediately hazardous to their health and safety. They disregarded that and went in, exemplifying some of the highest examples we expect out of our public servants," said Hotchkiss Fire Chief Doug Fritz. "I can tell you that people in our community who are older and disabled are at much greater risk of horrible death by fire. Gates and Chad prevented that. We owe them a lot of admiration, and we are pretty proud to be working with them."

Because of their bravery, Lloyd and Shaklee were awarded Medals of Valor and letters of commendation..."  (Read more?  Click title)

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