Tucson Sector Border Patrol officials honored five agents who put their own lives in danger to rescue two migrants locked inside the trunk of a burning vehicle. The vehicle caught fire as a human smuggler attempted to flee and avoid apprehension.
Agents assigned to the Interstate 19 Border Patrol checkpoint last December observed a vehicle approaching for inspection. The driver, a U.S. citizen, drove away to avoid arrest.
Agents bravely #rescued two migrants from the trunk of a burning vehicle.
When a U.S. citizen driver attempted to flee from the I-19 Checkpoint, the vehicle caught fire within a few miles and came to a stop. Nogales Station agents reacted quickly, and no one was hurt. #HonorFirst pic.twitter.com/Dcs9IkJIqK
— John R. Modlin (@USBPChiefTCA) December 21, 2021
A pursuit ensued and the smuggling vehicle caught fire within a few miles, according to a December 2021 tweet from Tucson Sector Chief Patrol Agent John R. Modlin. The agents quickly responded to the life-threatening emergency and rescued two migrants locked inside the trunk of the burning car.
Their actions brought credit upon themselves and the U.S. Border Patrol. On behalf of Tucson Sector, congratulations on a job well done. #HonorFirst
Click here for more information on their heroic efforts: https://t.co/NNMoEufrol. (2/2)
— John R. Modlin (@USBPChiefTCA) May 17, 2022
This week, Tucson Sector officials honored Border Patrol Agents Fleming, Lysek, Brooks, Engles, and Schaben with the presentation of the agency’s third-highest medal, the U.S. Border Patrol Achievement Award for their heroic actions in saving the lives of the migrants.
HonorFirst.com details the award criteria:
USBP Achievement Award
Originally designed to be the Chief’s Commendation Medal under the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the design was repurposed as the USBP Achievement Award. The Chief’s Commendation Medal was awarded to one person in 2002.
Awarded to an employee or a group for meritorious achievement or service based on sustained performance or specific achievement of a superlative nature, and shall be of such merit as to warrant more recognition than is possible by non-traditional awards, but which is not significant enough to justify the U.S. Border Patrol Commendation Award, or
- Awarded to an individual or a group for lifesavings efforts, exceeding expectation, not involving heroism,
- Awarded to an individual or a group for heroism, not justifying the U.S. Border Patrol Commendation Award.
Awards of the U.S. Border Patrol Achievement for acts of heroism are distinguished with the addition of a “V” device affixed to the suspension ribbon and ribbon bar.
In April, Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Jason D. Owens honored 240 agents in his sector with awards for life-saving action. Three of these included the Newton-Azark Award, the Border Patrol’s highest award for heroism above and beyond the call of duty, Fox 29 reported.