For Detective Joshua Masterson of the Lexington police, pulling two people out a fiery wreck on Interstate 75 last fall is just "kind of our job."
Masterson was one of a number of police employees and citizens honored for service to the community on Tuesday night at the Lexington Division of Police Awards Banquet.
Masterson, who received a Medal of Merit, was on his way to work on the morning of Nov. 28 when he saw a wreck between a tractor-trailer and a passenger vehicle and then saw "a big, whoosh fireball coming at my car."
Masterson ran to the car, which was engulfed in flames, kicked out the window and pulled the driver to safety. Then he turned to the tractor-trailer and freed its driver as well.
Officer Vincent Matteini was named Police Officer of the Year because of "exceptional performance, determination and distinguished character," according to the police department. Matteini, a 14-year veteran, is the neighborhood officer for the East Sector.
He said he feels good about the work the force does to arrest drug dealers and decrease violence, but "I don't think that I've done much more than anybody else has," he said. "We go out every day and do the best we can."
Some other award recipients included: Detective Shannon Garner, Detective of the Year; Officer Shannon Gahafer, Patrol Officer of the Year; Sgt. Michael Sharp, Supervisor of the Year; Melinda Weathers, Civilian Employee of the Year; and Officer Marty Parks, Customer Service of the Year award.
The police also recognized three citizens — Robin Hobbs, Angela Terry and Erick Long — with Citizen Service Medals.
Terry was honored for performing CPR on a man who stopped breathing at a Chick-fil-A restaurant last fall, and Officer Randall Combs received an Exceptional Service Award for continuing CPR on the man.
Long gave rescue breaths and CPR to a 3-year-old boy who nearly drowned in a swimming pool at a home on Bridle Ridge Lane last summer. He was part of a crew that had been pouring concrete at the home that week, and he said he had no training in CPR.
Long said he believes that in such a situation, there's only one choice: "Just give it a shot, try."