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Collinsville first responders receive Illinois FOP awards for valor, life-saving efforts

Several Collinsville first responders received awards from the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge (FOP) for their on-duty valor and life-saving efforts earlier this year. The awards were presented during the Illinois FOP annual conference held July 27 and 28 in O’Fallon. Ill.

“These awards recognize individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in protecting and serving their fellow citizens,” said Illinois FOP State Lodge President Chris Southwood. “They are examples of what every public servant should aspire to be.”

The Illinois FOP Valor Award, which honors police officers who demonstrate selfless bravery by risking their own lives to assist and protect another, was awarded to Collinsville Police Officers Timothy Severine, Steven Pyrdeck and Matthew Schneider. All three officers responded to a March 2, 2022 call where an armed man had kicked in the door of his estranged wife’s residence and was holding several residents at gunpoint. The officers ordered the man to surrender, but he came out onto the porch using his estranged wife as a shield and began firing at the officers. The officers returned fire and killed the suspect without injuring anyone else, and then immediately turned their attention to the well-being of all who were being threatened by the gunman during the incident.

Two telecommunicators, or dispatchers, who helped to coordinate the emergency response to the March 2 incident received Illinois FOP Meritorious Service Awards for their actions that day. Lauren Bettorf and Emma Valleroy were honored for their dedication and professionalism during what was a very tense and fast-changing situation.

The Illinois FOP presented several Collinsville first responders with awards for their actions on February 12, 2022, in which they rescued a woman who was trapped in a rapidly sinking car. A woman’s car went out of control that day and ended up in a water-filled retention pond, where the car quickly began to fill up with water. Collinsville Police Officers Dylan Madron and Jose Cerna responded to the scene, and were joined by Collinsville Firefighter Jason Warner, where they went into the water and worked together to free the woman as the vehicle kept sinking deeper into the pond. The three men each received the FOP’s Life Saving Awards for their actions. Two emergency telecommunicators, or dispatchers, were given FOP Meritorious Service Awards for their roles in calmly, efficiently and quickly sending the proper emergency response units and equipment to the scene, which greatly contributed to the successful life-saving efforts on that day. The telecommunicators who received awards include Marissa Lovatto and Tiarra McAlister,

The Fraternal Order of Police, founded in 1915, is the largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers in the United States. With a proud tradition of officers representing officers, the FOP is the most respected and most recognized police organization in the country. The Illinois FOP, chartered in 1963, is the second largest State Lodge, proudly representing more than 34,000 active duty and retired police officers – more than 10 percent of all FOP members nationwide. Visit www.ilfop.org for more information.

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