Moriah Peterson, story and photos:
On Friday night June 22, 2018 probation and parole officer Josh Watt received the prestigious Carnegie Medal, an award that has only been received just over 10,000 times since 1904.
This medal was created to recognize outstanding acts of selfless heroism, and consists of a lengthy selection progress. The commission members search out heroes throughout Canada and the United States and they require extremely specific information and an investigation before picking awardees.
Josh Watt, a local parole and probation officer, was picked on March 28, 2018 to be awarded for his heroism at the scene of a horrific crash that took place on June 26, 2017. During the ceremony, Sheriff Shane Doyle reported that Officer Watt is credited for saving the life of James Allman and his 17 year old passenger, Alyssa L. Gore who were trapped upside down in a burning truck. Officer Watt cut the seat belt of Miss Gore, removing her from the burning truck and was able also pull Mr. Allman out of the truck and put out the fire on his clothes.
Sheriff Doyle spoke about Officer Watt receiving the prestigious national award. "We always hate when tragedy strikes in our community. Sometimes it takes a tragedy to show us the best humanity has to offer, and in my opinion, Josh Watt perfectly embodies the best. He's selfless in every way, and I'm proud to call him a friend."
Police Chief Jeff Jewell was also present at the ceremony stating “there is no doubt that Josh was the right man in the right place.” Chief Jewell thanked Josh on the behalf of the Brownsville Police Department and the Brownsville Fire Department for his quick actions.
Upon receiving the medal, Josh thanked all who came, which included his wife, daughter, parents, in-laws and grandparents. He stated “This is a huge honor for me.”
At the end of the invitation-only ceremony, Samantha Catt, sister of James Allman, gave an update on James saying that he is still in recovery but has improved drastically since the accident. She also expressed her family’s thankfulness to Josh.
"From the bottom of our hearts, we want to say 'thank you' and because of your actions, James and Alyssa are with us today.”