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Maryland Paramedic Recognized for Valor at Traumatic Crash


GREENBELT, Md. (WJLA) - A Prince George’s County firefighter Sara Shaffer and Prince George’s County Police Capt. John Boesman are two recipients of the county’s Public Safety Valor Awards presented Wednesday during a luncheon in Greenbelt, Md.

Read Department Narrative of Firefighter/Medic Shaffer's Actions

Capt. John Boesman was  bestowed with the coveted title of police officer of the year for saving a man’s life just over a year ago. In March of 2013, Boesman jumped into action when he spotted a man trapped inside a burning, overturned van.

“You get tunnel vision … you get singly focused,” Boesman said of his heroic actions that day.  He suffered second-degree burns on his face and hands while trying to save the victim who later succumb to his injuries.

“I was expecting some sort of adrenaline boost,” Boesman said, reflecting on the incident. “You know this guy would come free or something, so the frustration continued to mount.”

Prince George’s County firefighter Sara Shaffer helped saved the life of her colleague Lt. Ryan Emmons who had a part of his arm severed during a January 2013 crash on the Capital Beltway.

JEMS: Injured Maryland Firefighter Has Arm Reattached

Shaffer said she grabbed a backboard and used it as a seesaw to free Emmons from the fire truck which had been struck by a speeding tractor trailer.

"I think it’s amazing that she was able to crawl in and reach me,” Emmons said of Shaffer’s actions.

A year later, his arm is attached and he remains determine to return to duty one day.


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