Thursday, March 1, 2012

Delaware State Police Announce Trooper of the Year

Each year the Delaware State Police Executive Staff selects one Trooper for the Trooper of the Year Award. Troopers nominated must be recognized by their peers as having outstanding character and integrity and whose actions or performance significantly exceeded expectations during the previous calendar year.

This year, eight Delaware State Troopers were nominated. The Executive Staff selected Corporal Troy Ralston as the 2011 Trooper of the Year.

Cpl. Ralston began his career with the Delaware State Police in September 2006 and through his strong work ethic has established a reputation as a dedicated Trooper excelling in both criminal and traffic enforcement. The efforts of Troopers like Cpl. Ralston make our communities and highway safer for everyone. Cpl. Ralston consistently among the Troop leaders in traffic and criminal enforcement activities, all the while, is taking on additional responsibilities such as serving as a field training officer and as a mentor in the Troop 7 Explorers program.

Equally as important as Cpl. Ralston’s performance and work ethic, is Cpl. Ralston’s strength of character. Cpl. Ralston represents the core values of Honor, Integrity, Courage, Loyalty, Attitude, Discipline and Service.

Two incidents that highlight and clearly demonstrate Cpl. Ralston’s dedication and commitment to the Core Values and to the citizens we serve.

Colonel Coupe and Cpl Ralston
On January, 11th, 2011, Cpl. Ralston was responding to Sussex County Court of Common Pleas on his day off for a trial. While en route to court, Cpl. Ralston heard SUSCOM dispatch other Trooper’s to a motor vehicle crash involving a vehicle on fire with a trapped occupant. Cpl. Ralston knew the crash was not far from his location and immediately redirected to the scene of the crash.  Cpl. Ralston was the first emergency responder to arrive on the scene and observed that a van and a tractor trailer had collided head-on, and both vehicles were on fire. Cpl. Ralston saw that the tractor trailer was unoccupied, but the operator of the van was still inside. Cpl. Ralston grabbed his fire extinguisher and ran to the van. The van operator was unconscious and his clothing was on fire. Cpl. Ralston quickly directed the fire extinguisher at the flames on the operator and did his best to suppress the fire from the engine compartment, but could not extinguish it completely. With the assistance of a citizen at the scene, they cut the operator’s seat belt and attempted to pull the operator from the van, but then realized the operator’s legs were trapped under the steering wheel. Despite the flames creeping back into the passenger compartment Cpl. Ralston and the citizen continued work feverishly to free the operator from the vehicle. Finally, they were able to pull the operator from the vehicle, but not before Cpl. Ralston had sustained second degree burns on his hand.  Cpl. Ralston immediately assessed the operator’s condition and began to administer CPR, until he had to move the victim again because the fire continued to grow, and there were several small explosions that erupted from the vehicles. Cpl. Ralston continued to perform CPR until Fire and EMS personnel arrived on the scene. The operator of the van was transported to the hospital where, unfortunately, he succumbed to his injuries.

Cpl. Ralston’s efforts did not go unnoticed, and because of his willingness to put his own life in harm's way in an attempt to save the life of another, he was awarded the Division’s Valor Award.

Ten days later, on January 21, 2011, Cpl. Ralston responded to a call for a 75 year old male in cardiac arrest. Cpl. Ralston was the first emergency responder to arrive on the scene and upon his entry into the residence located the victim who was unconscious, without a pulse and not breathing. Cpl. Ralston utilized his AED to assess the victim and then together with the victim’s son took turns performing CPR on the victim until EMS arrived on the scene and took over. The victim was transported to the hospital and we are happy to say that he survived.

The men and women of the Delaware State Police are very proud of Cpl. Ralston and grateful for his dedicated service.

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