State Patrol recognizes heroism at awards ceremony

February 13, 2019 06:54 PM

The Minnesota State Patrol recognized troopers, citizens and other public servants who performed heroic acts in 2018 at its annual awards ceremony held Wednesday afternoon at Jimmy's Event Center in Vadnais Heights.

Among those scheduled to be recognized with the Meritorious Citizenship Award was tow truck driver Doug Clayton, who was pulling a car out of a ditch last May when a vehicle crashed into his tow truck. The vehicle skidded into the ditch, rolled over and started on fire. Clayton rushed to the car and pulled the driver to safety.

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Trooper Dillon Rieland was among those scheduled to be given the Life Saving Award, which is presented to members of the state patrol who "distinguish themselves by performing acts that prevent the death of another."

Rieland was at Target Field at a Twins game in September when he saw his brother-in-law choking. He performed the Heimlich maneuver, dislodging food obstructing his airway.

Trooper Kelsen Burrows was among those expected to be receiving the exceptional service award, "presented to employees who have provided extraordinary service in the performance of their duties."

He arrived at a burning home in Wilkin County last February. He and a deputy entered the smoke-filled residence to search for victims. And, he helped get tenants out safely.

Mike Lee was named Trooper of the Year. He is stationed in the west metro and is a member of the Special Response Team (where he is one of four snipers), the Minnesota State Patrol Troopers Association and the Peer Counseling Program.

"Trooper Lee is a peer counselor who dedicates time to working with new troopers, gets them on a positive path and inspires others to do great things," a release said.

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Frank Rajkowski

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