(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) The Missouri Department of Public Safety recognized first responders for heroic, life-saving, and extraordinary acts they've performed to protect the public.
Their stories are sometimes disturbing, frightening, and distressing but for them, it's all in a day's work.
Those who are in law enforcement along with other emergency responders never know if today is the day they'll be put in a potentially dangerous situation.
As a former sheriff, Governor Mike Parson knows that when that day does come, they have to be ready to step up.
"There's not a day I don't wake up that I go into that governor's office, am I concerned about something or not worried about it?” Parson said. “You guys are always in me and the first lady's thoughts and prayers."
The governor personally recognized responders who served above and beyond their duty on Tuesday at the Missouri Public Safety Awards ceremony in Jefferson City.
Among the recipients of a Medal of Valor was Troop H state patrol trooper Keaton Ebersold and Rock Port police chief Shannon Sherwood.
Together they rescued a young child whose life was threatened as she was being held hostage by a gun-wielding assailant.
"Honestly, I didn't know what we were going to get into,” Sherwood said. “We put our bases together and formed a plan and that's what we did."
“We never know what we're going to be dealing with or responding to from day to day,” Ebersold said. “We got to stay sharp and rely on our training."
In addition to law enforcement, the governor recognized three civilians who stepped in and risked their lives to stop a prisoner's assault on a Trenton police officer who had been shot.
For the Missouri Department of Public Safety that coordinates the award ceremony every year, it's always a special day.
"Each time I hear and I read the stories, I'm inspired by the work going on across our state. many times these stories are not told in venues such as this,” Missouri Department of Public Safety Director Sandra Karsten said. “I'm very happy to recognize the work of our professionals."
The civilian partnership award winners include Jason Gamm, from Gladstone, who works in St. Joseph, Rick Shannon, of Smithville, and Wesley Teague, from Rushville.