Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Officer earns medal for rescuing child, dogs from fire

On Sept. 23, we had a large award ceremony at the Police Academy to honor the bravery, leadership and ingenuity of some of KCPD's finest. I'll be posting about several of those awards in the coming days (I was, unfortunately, out of town for the ceremony itself, and Deputy Chief Cy Ritter filled in for me. But I knew all about these stories of courage, and I just had to share them with you.)

I'll start with Officer Timothy Hiner. He earned the Distinguished Service Medal - one of our department's highest honors - for his actions at the beginning of this year. Above, he and Deputy Chief Ritter salute after his medal was bestowed on him. Below is his story:

Officer Tim Hiner was working on a police report in his patrol car just after 3 a.m. January 28, 2010, when he saw car a whizzing down Northeast 45th Terrace near North Brighton. When the driver saw Officer Hiner, he frantically informed him a house was on fire nearby. Officer Hiner went to the house in the 5200 block of Northeast 45th Terrace and saw fire in the northeast corner of the home and power lines arcing above it. He asked dispatchers to send the fire department.

Then, he contacted a woman standing in the front yard. She spoke little English, but Officer Hiner heard her say that her “babies” were still inside. Officer Hiner immediately ran into the burning house. He found a small child in the back bedroom and picked him up but couldn’t find any other children. He took the child to his mother, and asked her about the other “babies” she mentioned. She was able to explain two small dogs were still in the house. So Officer Hiner went back inside again and found both dogs hiding under a large, heavy, sleigh-style bed in another bedroom. The dogs wouldn’t come out, so Officer Hiner lifted the bed himself, grabbed them and took them outside. With the family reunited, Officer Hiner asked the woman again if everyone was out of the house, and she said yes.

Officer Hiner then ushered everyone into his patrol car to get them out of the cold. Even with the language barrier, he asked what he could do to help them, and he notified the Red Cross that the family needed assistance. Once the fire was out, it was clear it was mostly contained to the kitchen area, but there was dangerous smoke damage throughout the house.

Sergeant John Failer said Officer Hiner’s quick actions prevented a tragedy, and he has the courageous and selfless qualities that are instrumental to being a good police officer.

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