The People's Tribune

Will Barger Awarded Silver Star For Bravery

Will Barger of Clifton Hill, a Corporal with the Vandalia Police was recently awarded the Silver Star for Bravery from the National Awards Program of the American Police Hall of Fame and Museum.
The Silver Star is awarded for extraordinary heroism performed in the line of duty. It recognizes an officer who at perilous risk to his own life performs their duty in such a manner as to reflect courage, dedication and initiative becoming a professional law enforcement offi

Barger received the Silver Star Award for an act of courage which occurred on Dec. 15, 2018 when he attempted to initiate a traffic stop on a vehicle within the city of Vandalia. The vehicle failed to yield, and a pursuit was initiated which led outside the city limits and into neighboring Pike County at speeds in excess of 115 mph. During the pursuit, the fleeing vehicle failed to negotiate a turn, left the roadway, struck an embankment and went airborne. The vehicle then crashed upon the roadway, eventually entering a drainage ditch and catching on fire. Corporal Barger relayed the vehicle’s location to responding emergency personnel, jumped the drainage ditch and approached the burning vehicle which was on its side and partially filled with water. Barger then roused the driver who was semi unconscious, injured and refused assistance. He was able to convince the driver of his need to exit the burning vehicle and was able to assist the driver by pulling them to their feet and then by pulling them out of the burning vehicle and into a nearby field.
Responding emergency personnel were unable to cross the drainage ditch to provide treatment to the driver. As such, Corporal Barger with the assistance of a first responder carried the injured driver over fifty yards from the field, to the roadway and to an awaiting ambulance.
In his recommendation to the awards committee, Vandalia Chief of Police Logan Benjamin stated “Corporal Barger was initially placed in physical danger while pursuing what was later found to be a dangerous felon and threat to public safety. Following the suspects traffic crash, Corporal Barger once again placed himself in physical danger by approaching the suspect’s burning vehicle and by pulling them from the vehicle to safety. Corporal Barger, disregarding his own safety, displayed exceptional courage, extraordinary decisiveness, presence of mind and swift action in saving and protecting a human life.”
The American Police Hall of Fame and Museum was founded in 1960 to honor law enforcement officers all across the country. The Museum is open 360 days a year and is home to more than 10,000 exhibits and artifacts. It is located it Titusville Florida and has a Memorial Wall engraved with the names of the more than 8,300 officers who have been killed in the line of duty nationwide.
In addition to its awards programs the APHF provides educational programs for law enforcement as well as services for family members of officers lost in the line of duty and assistance to those who have become injured or disabled in the performance of their duties.

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