During the February 7, 2022, Council Workshop Mr. Josh Wolaver was awarded the Henry C. Yost Medal of Honor for his efforts during a November 18, 2021, structure fire.
On November 18, 2021, at 1:09 p.m. Sidney Fire Department and Sidney Police Department responded to a structure fire at the intersection of Park Street and Second Avenue. The initial report stated that a victim had jumped from a window and an adult male was still inside. It was later learned that a female victim had jumped from the second story window and was caught by Mr. Josh Wolaver.
Mr. Wolaver and a friend had been driving east on Park Street after eating lunch. When they passed the Second Avenue and Park Street intersection both men believed they had heard screaming but the windows were up and both men were talking. After dropping his friend off, Mr. Wolaver had a “gut feeling” something was wrong and decided to drive back to the area. While heading west on Park Street he saw thick black smoke coming from the residence and saw a female’s face sticking out of the window on the second story north side screaming for help. He positioned himself under the window and told her to jump. She refused to jump stating that her brother was inside with her. Rapidly deteriorating conditions in the room forced the female to jump to Mr. Wolaver. He then moved her across the street and out of dangers way.
Mr. Wolaver then made entry into the heavily involved structure and was able to locate the stairs before the heat and smoke forced him out. He took a deep breath and again went back inside, found the stairs and made it half way up the stairs. Mr. Wolaver then experienced a “roll over” and was forced out of the structure. Mr. Wolaver then attempted to kick in another exterior door, but the door was impassable.
Mr. Wolaver's brave actions to save a life and to attempt to save another speak volumes about his character and courage.
Congratulations to Mr. Wolaver on earning the highest civilian honor presented by the Sidney Department of Fire and Emergency Services.