Officer Drew Byford receives state citation

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Rep. Wes Wagner (right) presents Officer Drew Byford with a state citation for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Officer Drew Byford of Manila serves on both the police and fire departments. He was honored Monday night, Oct. 20, at city hall with a state citation presented by Representative Wes Wagner.

The action of Officer Byford went across the state and Rep. Wagner called it an honor to be able to present Byford with the meaningful citation from the state for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Officer Byford responded to a motor vehicle accident on Sept. 25 where he pulled a trapped victim from a burning car.

Rep. Wes Wagner presents a citation to Officer Drew Byford. Pictured from left are: members of the Manila Police Department Delbert Carter, James Skinner and Chief Jackie Hill, and Byford; members of the Fire Department Chief Tracey Reinhart, Assistant Chief Wesley Sandusky, and Assistant Chief Glen French. Police officers Skinner and Byford are also members of the Manila Fire Department.

Manila Fire Chief Tracey Reinhart was present for the presentation and praised Byford for his bravery.

"From day one this young man has taken every class available," he said. "He attended the fire academy and takes his volunteer job as seriously as his regular job. He did go above and beyond the call of duty. He did everything right."

Byford was first on the scene and found the car on its side, on fire with a victim trapped inside. He alerted the first responders, Manila Fire Department, and the Mississippi County Sheriff's Department.

"He pulled the victim to safety with no regard to his own personal safety, as flames were out both sides of the vehicle," Reinhart reported.

The patient was flown by Hospital Wing to the Med in Memphis.

"Due to the quick thinking and training of Officer Byford, a life was saved," Reinhart said. "As a veteran firefighter and chief I want to say I am proud to call him a brother."

Members of the City Council, Donnie Wagner, Linda Donovan, and Tony Hawkins congratulate Officer Drew Byford. Also pictured (right) is Rep. Wes Wagner.

His supervisor Chief of Police Jackie Hill also praised Officer Byford.

"I have followed this kid through high school," Chief Hill said. "He left the fire department in Blytheville to work in Manila. He completed the police academy with high ranking. He may be young but he has proven to me he can do the job. He took his training, did what he had to do and saved a girl's life."

Manila Mayor Wayne Wagner concluded the ceremony offering his congratulations and pride in Officer Byford for a job well done. Mayor Wagner offered his appreciation to all of the members of the Manila Fire Department.

"You guys train in a lot of areas to be able to meet the needs of our citizens," Mayor Wagner said. "You veteran members show great leadership for these younger officers and we appreciate what you do."

Byford is a native of Manila and graduated from Manila High School in 2010. He has been a firefighter since 2010 and on the police department for a little over a year.

"I am proud to be a part of the Manila Police and Fire Departments and I want to help the community," Officer Byford said.

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