Deputy Chris Pierro of the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office patrol division was presented with a Medal of Valor Dec. 9 at the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association winter conference.
The medal was presented to Pierro for his lifesaving efforts April 11.
At 6:03 a.m., deputies were dispatched to a call of a vehicle that had lost control on icy roads and went through a fence, into a pond near the intersection of Bunker Lake and Crosstown boulevards in Andover. The male driver of the vehicle was not able to swim due to the frigid water.
Pierro was fueling his squad at the time the call came out, preparing to end his 12-hour night shift.
On hearing the call, Pierro responded to the location and found the vehicle was fully submerged and the driver was struggling to stay above water.
He took off some of his uniform items and jumped into the frigid waters, swimming toward the male, who was unable to keep his head above water at the time.
By the time Pierro reached the victim, the male’s hand was the only part remaining above water.
Pierro was able to grab onto the male’s hand and pull him back up. He then pulled the male to shore and safety. The male was taken by ambulance, treated and released from a local hospital.
“Every day members of the sheriff’s office are willing to put themselves in harm’s way to protect our citizens,” said Anoka County Sheriff James Stuart.
“It is nice of the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association to formally acknowledge our appreciation for the actions they take on our behalf.”
The award was presented by the current Minnesota Sheriff’s Association President, Sheriff Kent Wilkening, the Nobles County sheriff.