POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - It's a pretty rare occurrence when the Missouri State Highway Patrol awards citizens with the Honorary Trooper Certificate. Even rarer when they have two events in a week that warrant the awards.
The certificate is given to "non-employees who performs in an exemplary manner, and under dangerous conditions, to aid another," according to the Highway Patrol.
Four men received the honor this morning at Troop E headquarters in Poplar Bluff, Missouri.
"It takes a special person to go above and beyond that to jump in and to try to save somebody's life, and to even risk their own," said Trooper Shayne K. Talburt.
Trent Ray, James Willis, Rick Spargo and Ronald Chapman risked their lives to save another.
All four responded before troopers were able to get on scene.
"By the time I got there there's no way that anyone would have survived that if they were inside that vehicle," said Trooper Kyle Huggins.
Ray and Willis saved a man from a car on a flooded road, while Spargo and Chapman pulled two people out of a burning car.
All four men were honored by the award.
"I really never expected anything like this," said Ray.
"It's the only honor I ever received and probably the only one I ever will," said Spargo.
"When I got in it was all underwater and the seat belt was wrapped around his leg so there's no way he probably would have made it out on his own anyway," said Willis.
"Some of it was instinct," said Chapman. "Even though I was nothing but a puddle of jelly on the inside."
The highway patrol said they only give these out once or twice a year.