A Bend-area Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division trooper received an ward from the agency on Friday for his heroic, lifesaving action responding to a fiery injury traffic crash east of Bend. Also on hand: The mother and daughter he rescued.
Trooper Travis Ring's actions, assisted by an off-duty Oregon National Guard member, saved the lives of a mother and her 6-year old child, troopers said.
Major Travis Hampton presented the "Harold R. Berg Lifesaving Award" to Ring at the Bend Area Command office. In attendance for the presentation was the mother and child saved following the February traffic crash.
The lifesaving award is presented to OSP employees who distinguish themselves by performing or reacting to a situation in a positive and professional manner which saves, or reduces the risk of loss of life of another person; and, where a strong possibility existed that if such action wasn't taken, loss of life or serious injury would have resulted.
On Feb. 21 around 5:10 p.m., Ring witnessed a two-vehicle injury traffic crash at the intersection of U.S. Highway 20 and Ward Road east of Bend. A fire was immediately visible starting in the engine compartment of a vehicle occupied by Shannon Jackman, 50, of Bend, accompanied by her 6-year old daughter, Kendall.
As the fire grew in intensity, Trooper Ring, with the assistance of Oregon National Guard Staff Sgt. Joshua Mosley, broke out a window.
Ring and Mosley removed the woman and the child before the fire spread into the passenger compartment prior to Bend firefighters' arrival. Both were taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
"During the frightening scenario, Ring exhibited extraordinary leadership and courage that helped the woman and child be confident that they would be rescued," Friday's announcement said.
Afterward, Shannon Jackman told OSP that the smoke was suffocating and her daughter was screaming at her, telling her not to die when she overheard the trooper say he would take care of them.
She said that without their help, she would not have been able to get out of the car.
Captain Jeff Samuels, director of the OSP Fish & Wildlife Division, praised the trooper for his professionalism and calm in the face of danger.
"Trooper Ring took control of a life-threatening situation, provided clear direction to assisting citizens and was a calming reassurance to the mother and her daughter while rescuing them from their burning vehicle," Samuels said.
"He is a dedicated member of the Fish & Wildlife Division who is not only responsible for protecting our natural resources, but, like all of our troopers, he is devoted to serving the public and protecting lives. I am very proud of him and admire his lifesaving actions," added Samuels.
Ring, 36, joined OSP on May 1, 2006, with an initial assignment to the Fish & Wildlife Division at the Arlington office. In September 2009, he transferred to the Bend Area Command office.
The "Harold R. Berg Lifesaving Award" is named after Lieutenant Harold R. Berg, who died on May 10, 1975. Berg, while off duty at a family outing near Tillamook, was contacted by a citizen who informed him that a boy scout was missing at Cape Lookout State Park. While attempting to search a cave near the water's edge, he was washed out to sea. (http://www.oregon.gov/osp/pages/harold_berg.aspx)