PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — In extraordinary circumstances, the men and women who serve in law enforcement do extraordinary things.
The John Heinz Law Enforcement Awards Luncheon on Friday honored eighteen officers for their heroism in the line of duty.
Bridgeville Borough Police Officer Matthew Haley responded to a 911 call on Dec. 6, 2016. A tree was the only thing stopping a car from plunging over the hillside.
“The problem was, it was filled with smoke. We couldn’t see if anyone was inside,” Officer Haley said.
As Officer Haley approached the car, he noticed there was an elderly woman in the driver’s seat. Immediately recognizing that a life was at stake, he quickly used his folding knife to break the window, cut her seat belt and remove the woman from the car. With a fireman’s help, he carried her up the wet, slippery hill to safety. Moments later, the car exploded.
“At that point, we were still tending to the patient, because we had to get her up to the hill and then we were in somebody’s driveway. That lady was nice enough to bring out blankets for us from her house until we could get the paramedics there,” Officer Haley said.
Officer Haley risked his own life to save the life of another.
Seventeen other officers received were recognized for their extraordinary actions.
The highlight of the luncheon was the induction of fallen Canonsburg Police Officer Scott Bashioum into the Amen Corner Hall of Valor. Officer Bashioum’s parents accepted his award with a standing ovation. His father’s words tugged at everyone’s heartstrings.
“I know one thing for sure and it helps me get through this. My son isn’t dead. My son is in heaven. And he’s having a good time fishing. And Dad’s down here going through hell. I get mad at him. I say, ‘This ain’t fair, son.’ He says, ‘Yeah but it’s OK, Dad, cause some day you’ll be up here with me and we’ll go fishing together,’” Leslie Bashioum said.
Officer Bashioum and all who have served and continue to serve are truly heroes.
“You are the real-life heroes in this world. I thank you for your bravery, your dedication, and your service,” said KDKA Legal Editor Julie Grant before presenting the Amen Corner “911 Quick Response” Award to Officer Matthew Haley.