Police & Fire

Lyford awarded Carnegie Medal

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — Former Dover-Foxcroft Police Department Sgt. Todd Lyford, who now is chief deputy with the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office, has been awarded the Carnegie Medal from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission in recognition of a July 2018 incident in which he risked his life to an extraordinary degree to save the life of another.

Lyford, 54, saved a 65-year-old woman from burning after a July 30, 2018, accident caused her vehicle to leave a Dover-Foxcroft roadway, travel down a steep, wooded embankment and come to rest tilted against a tree trunk. The vehicle’s front end, which was several feet off the ground, broke out in flames.

Observer file photo/Stuart Hedstrom
ACTED WITH GREAT COURAGE IN THE FACE OF DANGER — Former Dover-Foxcroft Police Department Sgt. Todd Lyford, who now is chief deputy with the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office and is pictured with Town Manager Jack Clukey in the background, has been awarded the Carnegie Medal from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission for his valor when he pulled a woman from her car after the vehicle crashed and caught fire in July 2018 on the Greeleys Landing Road.

Lyford responded to the scene and arrived before firefighters. After emptying a fire extinguisher on the flames, Lyford opened the front passenger door with difficulty. Despite the base of the door being three feet off the ground, he extended his upper body and arms inside the flaming vehicle and grasped the woman’s upper body, pulling her to the ground and then a short distance from the vehicle. Lyford and others then dragged her up the embankment.

Although she was not burned, the women died nine days later from injuries sustained in the wreck. After the rescue, Lyford was nearly exhausted and had inhaled extinguisher chemicals. He recovered after emergency room treatment that day.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission has recognized 15 Americans and three Canadians for risking their lives while trying to save others from perilous, life-threatening situations.The Carnegie Medal is given to these honorees.

With this third announcement of 2019 recipients, a total of 10,117 Carnegie Medals have been awarded since the Pittsburgh-based fund’s inception in 1904. Commission Chair Mark Laskow said each of the awardees or their survivors will also receive a financial grant. Throughout the more than 115 years since the fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, $41 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits and continuing assistance.

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