May 19, 2016  (Boise) – Three peace officers with the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Department will receive the Idaho Medal of Honor for their acts of bravery and heroism during a 2015 rescue in Idaho Falls.

This year’s recipients will receive their medals during a ceremony today at the Idaho Peace Officers Memorial in Meridian.

The recipients of the state’s highest honor for law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS providers will be awarded to:

  • Sergeant Jared Hurt
  • Deputy Korey Payne
  • Deputy Christopher Rix

“There is no greater way to recognize the valor, courage and bravery shown by our peace officers than with the Medal of Honor,” said Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, chairman of the Medal of Honor Commission.  “It was the clear view of the commission that each of these peace officers went above and beyond the call of duty when they responded the way they did in saving the life of a motorist.”

Hurt, Payne and Rix were each called to the scene of a vehicle that had crashed and overturned in an irrigation canal just after midnight on September 25, 2015. The vehicle was nearly submerged and one occupant was trapped inside.

Moments after arriving at the scene, Hurt, Payne and Rix jumped into the canal, which was cold and about 3½-feet deep.  The officers attempted to break windows, pry open doors and stabilize the vehicle with a tractor.  Payne even tried diving underwater, without the aid of diving gear, to get inside and rescue the trapped occupant.

Ultimately, access was gained through a back door and the victim cut free from the seat belt by firefighter Sean Allen, with the Idaho Falls Fire Department.  Allen will receive the Medal of Honor for his actions at a separate ceremony for firefighters in September.

The Idaho Medal of Honor was created by the Legislature in 2004.  The statute directs that the medal be awarded by the Governor to professionals whose actions have been distinguished by exceptional meritorious conduct at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty.

For more information about the Idaho Medal of Honor and past recipients, please visit the Idaho Medal of Honor website.

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