The Minnesota State Patrol held its annual awards ceremony Monday to honor troopers and citizens for their good deeds throughout the state.
Meritorious Citizenship Awards are presented to those who have aided the State Patrol in public service. Those awarded put their lives on the line to fight flames, ward off crashes and rescue fellow citizens.
Shane Blair encountered a crash on Highway 29 south of Starbuck, Minn. where he helped keep an injured infant's airways open.
Jose Alvarado and Michael Remarke saw a two-vehicle crash on Highway 12 in Kandiyohi, Minn. They saved the lives of a young boy and girl by pulling them from a burning van and carrying them to the side of the road.
Charles Riechers helped restrain a reckless pedestrian in a construction zone on I-694 near Highway 10, ensuring the safety of the trooper and pedestrian.
John Heidenreich, Travis Jurek and Ward Willms freed an elderly passenger from a burning vehicle on the ramp from I-494 to Highway 77.
John Sales prevented a potential crash by using his own vehicle to pin another vehicle being driven by an individual suffering a seizure.
Trooper Alan Thompson of Winsted, Minn. earned the Trooper of the Year honors for his quick responsiveness and dedication. He makes a reported 3,122 enforcement contacts each year, covering everything from property damage to serious injuries.