DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The City of Vandalia honored two police officers at a city council meeting on Monday, Nov. 6.
Police officers Nelson Clymer and Connor Matlock were awarded the Medal of Valor, the highest honor a Vandalia police officer can receive.
Officers Clymer and Matlock were recognized for their work rescuing an unconscious 62-year-old man from his apartment during a house fire on May 13.
Upon arrival to the fire, both officers could see a fire in progress in a ground floor unit. An oxygen tank in the room was burning, with two other oxygen tanks in the room as well.
According to the officers, the burning of the oxygen tank created a chemical smell forcing officers outside to catch their breath before returning to the fire to finish their search and rescue. The top two apartments in the building were locked, requiring forced entry to check the space for any occupants.
“Both of these officers demonstrated bravery and courage, putting their own lives at risk by running back into the building to alert others and search the apartment units,” said Police Chief Kurt Althouse.
To qualify for a Medal of Valor, an officer must be in a stressful situation and take action at great personal risk to render aid or assistance to another.
“They took immediate action in a life-threatening situation and their bravery and exceptional service ultimately saved the life of a Vandalia resident who was inside the burning apartment,” said Althouse.
A panel of a senior police lieutenant, police sergeant, police officer and public safety specialist reviewed the incident and unanimously concluded the officers met the criteria for receiving the Vandalia Division of Police Medal of Valor.