Citizens who saved man from burning truck awarded for bravery - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Citizens who saved man from burning truck awarded for bravery

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – A piece of paper and a handshake from the sheriff printed a mark on citizen heroism in La Crosse County.

Jordan Freehill was among the few presented a Citizen Appreciation Award by the sheriff's department Friday.

"It feels pretty good. I just didn't do anything I wouldn't hope anyone else would do for me," Freehill said.

Christmas Eve 2011 a pick-up truck in the Town of Onalaska fishtailed, tumbled down an embankment, landed upside-down and set on fire.

One man was already working to get the driver out of the car. Freehill pulled over to help – so did another person .

"With the three of us we were able to get the door pried open because it was upside-down and pinned against a tree on a very steep hill," Freehill said. "Then the three of us kinda reached in there and just kept yanking him until he came out."

"Sometimes people don't stop to help others who are in need, but that doesn't happen in La Crosse County. We live in an area like this where our citizens are willing to help," said Sheriff Steve Helgeson.

The Citizen Appreciation Awards are a token to say, "thank you" to citizens who go above and beyond the call of duty, Helgeson said.

"So many times they don't receive a lot of ‘thanks' and this gives us an opportunity to get together and formally express our appreciation," he added.

"Feels cool to be honored for something you did that helped somebody else out," Freehill said.

Freehill walked away with an award Friday, but said he was just doing what every ordinary citizen should do.

The sheriff's department also awarded the two other men for their heroism.

They worked together that day to save a life. Freehill said he hasn't seen them since.

Two additional people received Citizen Appreciation Awards at the ceremony. One trained law enforcement in CPR and AED. The other provided veterinary care to the department's K-9 unit.

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