Governor Mike Parson recently presented St. Charles County Police Officer John K. Gresco II with the Medal of Valor Award for saving a man during a flash flood. Officer Gresco was one of 15 first responders and seven civilians who received 2020 Public Safety Medals for heroic acts from Governor Parson at an awards presentation Sept. 1 at the Missouri Highway Patrol in Jefferson City.
At 1 a.m. on Aug. 9, 2020, Officer Gresco encountered a man whose car was stuck in flood water on Pitman Hill Road. The current quickly began to carry the car toward a nearby creek as the man clung to the top of the car. With no time to wait for additional assistance, Officer Gresco used a guardrail to get near the vehicle, swam to the man and brought him to safety.
“Officer Gresco put his life at risk to save this gentleman,’ says Chief Kurt Frisz. “It is a testament to his dedication and loyalty to his job and to the community. He is to be commended for displaying extreme courage and staying calm in this life-or-death situation.”
“Conservatively speaking, I would say at least 10 citizens were assisted off their partially submerged vehicles that night by St. Charles County Police officers,” Officer Gresco recalls. “Although my call took a turn for the worse, I know that what I did is what any police officer I have ever met and or have worked with would have done. I just happened to be that police officer, on that night, at that time, on that road.”
Watch the 2020 Missouri Public Safety Awards Presentation online.