Sr. Trooper Joseph R. Winters, a 10-year veteran of the Indiana State Police, has been recognized nationally for his lifesaving actions.
Winters was leaving for work the morning of April 10, 2014, when he noticed his neighbor’s house on fire. Knowing that the residents were elderly with limited mobility, Winters notified dispatch as he headed to the burning house.
Upon entering, Winters found the 11-year-old grandson sleeping on a couch. Smoke from the fire was building in the house and was just a few feet from the first floor ceiling. Winters took the boy outside and re-entered the home, going to the second floor, where he awakened the couple, both in their 70s.
Winters guided the couple through the thick smoke and assisted them down the stairs and out of the house before the house was engulfed in flames. He directed the family to a safe area and then quickly performed a perimeter check for hazardous material. Winters then had to enter the house for a third time when he discovered the older male had re-entered. He again helped the man to safety.
Fire departments arrived on scene to battle the blaze. Winters remained on-scene to assist with scene control and traffic. He was treated at a local hospital for possible smoke inhalation.
Winters simply told his coworkers that he assisted at the scene of a fire. They did not learn of his heroic actions until a firefighter notified the ISP Lafayette post of details, stating that if it were not for Winters' actions, multiple deaths would have likely been the result.
Winters risked his safety and his life to save the life of three people. For this reason, it is an honor for AAST to recognize him as the 2015 Trooper of the Year from a pool of candidates from across the country.
Congratulations to Sr. Trooper Winters and the nominees listed below:
|Officer Clinton Schmidt||Arizona Dept. of Public Safety|
|Trooper F/C Marc O'Mara||Connecticut State Police|
|Corporal Mike McCann||Delaware State Police|
|Trooper Stephen Forsythe||Georgia State Patrol|
|Trooper Sharleen S. Seas||Illinois State Police|
|Trooper Shaun P. Bellao||Massachusetts State Police|
|Corporal Richard L. Ayers||Missouri State Highway Patrol|
|Trooper Bruce J. Stoffolano||New York State Police|
|Trooper Michael J. Miles||North Carolina State Highway Patrol|
|Trooper Stephanie Hanner||Ohio State Highway Patrol|
|Corporal Antonio M. Brown||South Carolina Highway Patrol|
|Trooper Jason Sherrod||Tennessee Highway Patrol|
|Trooper Leopoldo Sanchez||Texas Dept. of Public Safety|
|Trooper Anna M. Gasser||Washington State Patrol|
|Corporal William D. Henderson||West Virginia State Police|