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Mehlville firefighters awarded Medal of Bravery by Fire Chiefs Association


Capt. Kent Snelson and Firefighter Jason Appel of the Mehlville Fire Protection District recently were presented the Medal of Bravery Award by the Greater St. Louis Area Fire Chiefs Association.

The award was in recognition of their acts of extraordinary courage shown during the rescue of two individuals who had fallen off a bluff.

Additionally, a Unit Citation Award was given to Chief Raymond Haddock, Deputy Chief Steven Mossotti, Capt. Jim Hetzer, Lt. Kevin Utt, firefighters Steven Martin, Steven Stoltz, Craig Molitor, Mike Gaterman, Brian Reinhardt, John Lipina and Brian Hendricks, and EMTPs Jeff Sadtler, Greg Frederick and Kevin Smith.

The incident occurred early Aug. 9 when Pumper 1760 comprised of Snelson, Gaterman and Appel and Ambu-lance 1727 comprised of Frederick and Smith were dispatched to a call for a person fallen from a cliff in the rear of 100 Gray Cliff Manor Drive.

The first unit on the scene was 1760 and upon their arrival, Snelson, Gaterman and Appel were informed by St. Louis County Police that two males had fallen off the bluff.

After assessing the situation, Snelson requested a full rescue assignment dispatched, according to a Mehlville Fire Protection District news release.

Verbal contact was established with one of the victims and Snelson was able to learn that the second victim was not conscious, but both victims had fallen close to each other.

It was determined that the two had fallen about 100 feet down the bluff and were about 50 feet from the bottom, according to the news release.

Mossotti arrived on the scene and assumed command, while Haddock arrived about 10 minutes later to assist.

Haddock took command at Gray Cliff Manor and Mos-sotti relocated to Cliff Cave Park to assume command of the victim rescue and removal.

Rescue Squad 1756 comprised of Hetzer, Martin, Rein-hardt and Hendricks was instructed to report to the scene on Gray Cliff Manor and set up rigging for Snelson and Appel to rappel down the bluff to begin the rescue.

Pumper 1722 comprised of Stoltz, Molitor and Lipina and Ambulance 1717 comprised of Utt and EMTP Sadtler were directed to respond to the end of Cliff Cave Park, the release stated.

After an extended rescue operation, the most critical patient was transported with the use of an all-terrain vehicle contributed by a neighbor to Cliff Cave Park and flown out by an ARCH helicopter.

The second patient and the rescue team were transported to Cliff Cave Park by a Burlington Northern Railroad engine, according to the release.

The second patient was transported to St. Anthony's Medical Center by Ambulance 1727.

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