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2011–2012 Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor

Officer Andrew Michael Keith,
Knoxville, Tennessee Police Department

Officer Keith receives the award for his swift and heroic actions on March 13, 2012 in response to a burning Tennessee Highway Patrol car. After a collision with a truck, the car’s driver, Sergeant Lowell Russell, was unconscious and trapped inside the vehicle.

When Officer Keith reached the scene, he radioed dispatch for the fire department and used his shirt to beat back the flames while trying to reach the injured trooper. When he reached Sergeant Russell, he kept the flames away from the injured man’s body, while two citizens aided in cutting him from his seatbelt.

Once they had freed him, Officer Keith took control of the scene and kept people away from the vehicle, which exploded from a discharge of ammunition. Due to the quick and courageous actions of Officer Keith and the concerned citizens, Sergeant Russell survived the accident and began rehabilitation a few weeks later. He traveled here today to help us honor Officer Keith.

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