Heroism Awards For 7 NE Iowa Public Safety Officials
Four Cedar Falls firefighters and two former Delaware County sheriff's deputies are among 10 public safety officials getting recognized at a Statehouse ceremony in Des Moines today (Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016).
Governor Terry Branstad and Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) Commissioner Roxann Ryan are honoring seven individuals with the 2016 Sullivan Brothers’ Award of Valor and three individuals with the Heroic Valor Award for their heroic efforts in saving the lives of Iowans during critical times of need.
Among those being recognized are Captain Derek Brown and firefighters Shane Farmer, T.J. Taylor and Troy Purdy of Cedar Falls Fire Rescue. According to the DPS, the four men responded to a house fire on Feb. 7, 2016, and rescued three people that were trapped inside the structure -- a mother and her two children. The firefighters are receiving the Award of Valor for entering the burning house and saving three lives.
Former Delaware County sheriff's deputies David Elledge and the late Dunca Gross are among the recipients of the Historic Valor Award. They're being recognized for an event that happened on Nov. 6, 1981.
According to the award synopsis, Elledge and Gross responded to a disturbance that resulted in an armed suspect taking refuge in a wooded area. Resisting arrest, the assailant fired five rounds from his .357 magnum at Elledge, striking him once in the abdomen and once in the foot. Elledge’s life was spared in no small measure by the decisive actions taken by Gross to disarm the suspect and render life-saving assistance to his fallen comrade. Both Gross and Elledge survived the event.
Gross eventually retired from law enforcement and has since passed away. Elledge eventually went on to become an officer with the Department of Natural Resource (DNR) and has since retired after a lengthy, honorable career.
Today's event begins at 3 p.m. at the State Capitol Rotunda in Des Moines.
An Iowa State Patrol trooper, two Fort Dodge police officers and the former chief of the Keosauqua fire department are also being honored at the ceremony.