Governor Mike Parson awarded Missouri Public Safety Medals to a total of 15 first responders and seven civilians for heroic and saved actions in 2020, including a student from the Missouri Valley.
Brody J. von Brethorst was named by the Cedar County Sheriff’s Office for carrying out rescue measures near Stockton Lake.
According to a press release, on September 5, 2020, a 17-year-old boy jumped off a 40-foot cliff into Stockton Lake, landed face-first and passed out and disappeared into the water. First responders were alerted, but with the victim sinking into about 12 feet of water, time was running out.
Officials say Brody von Brethorst, a student at Missouri Valley College, saw what had happened and immediately set out to attempt a rescue. Von Brethorst ran to where he thought the man had hit the water. Von Brethorst dove to the bottom of the lake, trying to find the victim, but was hampered by the poor visibility. He surfaced and asked the gathering crowd for a pair of glasses. After someone threw a pair of goggles at him, von Brethorst dived a second time. This time he found the victim and pulled her to the surface. With the help of others, von Brethorst got the lifeless victim onto a boat that had joined the search. The victim did not have a pulse, but after about five minutes of CPR on the boat, several nurses, who were enjoying the Labor Day weekend by the lake, were able to revive the victim.
The victim was taken on a helicopter flight to a hospital and put on a ventilator upon arrival at the hospital. Five days later, the victim was released from the hospital.
Officials claim that in a very stressful emergency, Brody von Brethorst had the ideal combination of inner calm, endurance, alertness and determination to save the young victim’s life.
Nominations are now open for heroic deeds accomplished during 2021 and must be received by February 28, 2022. The nomination form is available on the Missouri Department of Public Safety website at https: // dps.mo.gov/medal/.