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MSHP honors employees at MASTERS ceremony

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Amidst the rains and floods of the past weekend, leaders of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Missouri Association of State Troopers Emergency Relief Society (MASTERS) took time to celebrate 21 employees of the state law enforcement agency at a ceremony in Columbia.

Several award recipients reportedly could not attend the ceremony as they were working in parts of Southern Missouri that suffered most from floods over the past weekend.

The awards are given to law enforcement officers and MSHP staff for saving lives, bravery and receiving injuries in the line of duty, but also for public service.

MSHP Superintendent Sandy Karsten was the keynote speaker at the event, where she thanked the 21 award winners for their service.

“I’m proud to serve with such compassionate and brave individuals,” Karsten said in a statement. “Every one of them is a credit to themselves and to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Congratulations to each of them.”

James Thuss, Kyle Easley, David Gipson, Larry Turner, Logan Monahan, Shayne Talbert, Marylyn Dickens, Brandon Harris, James Sauer, and David Echternacht all earned the “Lifesaving Award.” Thuss saved a woman from a burning car, Easley and Gipson helped treat and save the life of a suspect who was shot during a shootout with law enforcement, Turner, Harris, Sauer, and Dickens saved seperate people with mouth to mouth and CPR, Monahan and Talburt saved an elderly man from drowning in a creek, and Echternact, a member of the Water Patrol saved the driver of a crashed boat during the 2016 Shoot Out Boat Race at the lake of the Ozarks.

Grant Ayres, Jason Glendenning and Tyler Zimmerman earned Meritorious Service awards and David Paulsen received the MASTERS Public Service Award for his work in the Warsaw community. Jason McBride and Jay Shirley earned Purple Heart awards for getting injured in the line of duty and Adam Miller, Daniel Yingling and Rebecca Eagan received awards for valor.