A state police officer received the Michigan State Police Bravery Award on Monday in light of his off-duty efforts to rescue an unconscious man from a burning semi-truck.
During the annual Michigan State Police (MSP) employee recognition ceremony in Lansing, Motor Carrier Officer Jacob Lauer with the St. Ignace Post was honored with the award for his actions that also placed himself in immediate danger, MLive.com reported.
In March, Lauer was on vacation and driving on US 23 in Monroe County when he spotted black smoke billowing from a semi-truck in a ditch.
First responders had not yet arrived, so Lauer pulled over and crossed the median to help other truck drivers fighting the fire with their extinguishers.
The driver, however, was unconscious. He was belted into his seat and part of him was pinned against the steering wheel.
“Lauer rallied a group to help him pull the driver through the windshield. They got him out shortly before the semi became fully engulfed in flames and the tires exploded due to extreme heat and pressure,” the MLive.com article read.
Following the rescue, Lauer cared for the driver who suffered two major lacerations on his head until first responders arrived, according to UpNorthLive.com.
“Motor Carrier Officer [Jacob] Lauer knowingly endangered himself when he took swift and immediate actions to save this…
“Motor Carrier Officer Lauer knowingly endangered himself when he took swift and immediate actions to save this man’s life,” Lt. Chad Larsen stated. “We are incredibly proud of him and know he would do the same again, if put in the same situation.”
Facebook users also praised the officer for his brave actions and congratulated him on receiving the award.
“So cool, congratulations Jacob,” one person wrote.
“Congratulations!! Thank you for your service,” another commented.
Lauer joined the MSP in August 2018 where he graduated from the 23rd Motor Carrier Recruit School and was later assigned to his post at St. Ignace.