On Thursday, July 13, 2023, at approximately 11:44pm, dispatchers advised police and fire personnel of a structure fire in the 1600-block of Holly Place. Upon arrival, officers observed the residence to be fully engulfed and the elderly resident trapped inside. Officer Swiger, who was first to arrive on scene, observed the resident in her garage. He then used his baton to break a garage window to make contact with the resident, and inquire if there was anyone else in the home. The resident confirmed she was the only person in the residence. Officers Helton and Ruhenkamp arrived on scene with other good Samaritans began lifting the garage door to allow enough space for the resident to move safely away from the home. Once inside the garage, Officer Helton was able to quickly grab a small canine held by the resident, and pass the canine to an individual outside the garage. At this point, the fire had spread into the garage area. Officer Luana quickly crawled under the garage door and pulled the inside handle so the garage door could be lifted high enough to get the resident and officers safely outside the structure. Officer Swiger was able to get the property held by the resident safely outside the garage, while Officers Helton and Ruhenkamp assisted the resident outside and safely away from the burning structure. Sidney Fire and Rescue Department personnel arrived, provided care for the resident and extinguished the flames.
In honor of their actions, the American Police Hall of Fame, and the National Association of Chiefs of Police presented the Life Saving Award to Officers Luana, Swiger, Helton and Ruhenkamp. Their actions that evening reflect great credit upon themselves and the Sidney Police Department. Congratulations to our officers!