Idaho Medal of Honor Recipient
May 18, 2012
Specialist Gerald Stemm
Idaho State Police
On August 28, 2011, at approximately 1:44 p.m., Idaho State Police Senior Specialist Gerald Stemm was one of the responders to an accident on Fernan Lake Road. A car had overturned into the lake and was completely submerged. Two young children were trapped in the vehicle. Specialist Stemm was the first to dive into the water to rescue the children, with ISP Corporal Allen Ashby joining him a few moments later. They made repeated attempts to open the doors of the submerged vehicle, but the deep water and limited visibility made their attempts unsuccessful.
Firefighters arrived as the vehicle started sinking deeper, with Specialist Stemm and Corporal Ashby standing on the vehicle trying to catch their breath for another rescue attempt. Finally, the firefighters used their Self Contained Breathing Apparatus and entered the water. Firefighters first recovered the 5-year-old boy and then the 1-year-old girl. Specialist Stemm assisted in bringing the children to shore to other emergency personnel. As a result, the 1-year-old girl survived this terrible tragedy.
Specialist Stemm’s extraordinary heroism and resolute courage, fortitude, and endurance, with grave danger to his own life above and beyond the call of duty, are in the highest traditions of the Idaho State Police and Idaho law enforcement.