Two Prairie Village police officers given ‘Lifesaving Award’ for rescue of man from burning truck

Two Prairie Village Police officers were honored Monday with the department’s Lifesaving Award for their actions in saving a victim in a burning pickup truck in April.

Officers Joel Colletti and John Shipman had responded to a call of a vehicle crash on west 79th Street early in the morning. Prairie Village Police Chief Wes Jordan recounted the situation they faced in his presentation of the awards before the city council:

“Upon their arrival, they found a pickup truck engulfed in flames so intense they could not see inside the passenger compartment of the vehicle. Both officers quickly deployed Cold Fire equipment and worked quickly to quell the flames of the fire.”

“After the fire was extinguished,” Jordan continued, “the officers discovered a male occupant who was still alive and suffering from life-threatening injuries. Following extrication by the fire department, the critically injured driver was removed from the scene and transported to KU Hospital. The victim survived his injuries and fire officials noted the quick actions of the responding officers using Cold Fire extinguishers saved the victim from perishing in the fire.”

When he asks applicants why they want to join the police department, Jordan said, their number one answer is to help people. “Over the course of an officer’s career, they will get to help people on a daily basis, however, only a few have opportunities to be in a position to truly save a life.”

While the officers were presented the awards, the display screen in the council chambers showed an image of the burning truck taken from the in-car video of the police car on April 21.