December 16, 2021

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Governor Kim Reynolds, Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg and Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens honored heroic citizens and First Responders at the 2020 and 2021 Sullivan Brothers’ Award of Valor and Governor’s Lifesaving Awards ceremony held this morning in the Iowa Capitol Rotunda. A total of 35 individuals from communities across the state were recognized for their courageous responses. This was the second year the two awards programs were combined for one very special event that featured the Iowa State Patrol Honor Guard and the National Anthem performed by Trooper Nicholas Martin. 

“President Calvin Coolidge once said that ‘heroism is not only in the man, but in the occasion.’ I think another way of expressing that sentiment is that moments of sudden, life threatening danger or severe hardship are testing grounds for the heroes among us,” said Governor Kim Reynolds. “When circumstances thrust them onto testing grounds, today’s award winners responded. They sprang into action, showed unparalleled courage, and placed the safety of others ahead of their own.”

Added Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens, “These Iowans intentionally and selflessly provided aid and assistance in times of need. It’s an honor to celebrate those who placed the needs of others above their own and answered the call to serve.” 

The Governor’s Lifesaving Awards Program recognizes recipients in four different categories including:
Lifesaving with Valor, which is awarded to those individuals who at the risk of their own life, attempted to save that of another.
Lifesaving, which is awarded to those individuals who have attempted to save the life of another individual, but did not put their own life in jeopardy. 
Meritorious, which is awarded to those individuals in recognition of courageous and unselfish service rendered during a time of distress. 
Outstanding Service, which is presented to persons who have performed a courageous act in an attempt to save an individual who was in danger of losing his or her life or to individuals who unselfishly rendered service in a time of emergency.

The Governor’s Lifesaving Awards honored 22 civilians:

•    Ashley Goering – Outstanding Service Award, Grimes
•    Jean Hessburg – Outstanding Service Award, Des Moines
•    Larry Hoefer – Outstanding Service Award, Peosta
•    Courtney Nobiling – Outstanding Service Award, Cambridge
•    Alex Schwenke – Outstanding Service Award, Sigourney
•    Archie Jorgenson – Meritorious Service Award, Harmony
•    Daniel Liddiard – Meritorious Service Award, Waukon
•    Barry Nobles – Meritorious Service Award, Waukon
•    David Andringa – Lifesaving, Sheldon
•    Chadwick Gillespie – Lifesaving, Winterset
•    Calvin Grosvenor – Lifesaving, Milford
•    Daniel Gutschenritter – Lifesaving, Creston
•    Miriam Ludeke – Lifesaving, Archer
•    Richard Ludeke – Lifesaving, Archer
•    Daniel Mathis – Lifesaving, Waukon
•    Devyn Brady – Lifesaving with Valor, Altoona
•    David Duncan – Lifesaving with Valor, Mason City
•    Christopher Fink – Lifesaving with Valor, Clear Lake
•    Stephen Fettkether – Lifesaving with Valor, Mason City
•    Cameron Goodell – Lifesaving with Valor, Missouri Valley
•    Jason Hahn – Lifesaving with Valor, Mason City
•    Adam Woodle – Lifesaving with Valor, Jewell

The Sullivan Brothers’ Award of Valor honors the memory of George, Frank, Joe, Matt and Albert Sullivan – all in their 20’s – who served together on the USS Juneau in the Guadalcanal naval battle in the fall of 1942. All five brothers died together in a tragic attack when two Japanese torpedoes struck their ship. This year’s ceremony recognized 13 First Responders from three county sheriff’s offices and three fire departments:

•    Deputy Shane Allen – Green County Sheriff’s Office 
•    Firefighter Nathanial Byerly – Churdan Fire and Rescue 
•    Deputy Matthew Smith – Cerro Gordo County Sheriff's Office 
•    Deputy Zachary Scott – Cerro Gordo County Sheriff's Office 
•    Deputy Christopher Flatness – Cerro Gordo County Sheriff's Office 
•    Assistant Chief Brian Eiteman – Perry Fire and Rescue 
•    Captain Andrew Modlin – Perry Fire and Rescue 
•    Lieutenant Joel Eiteman – Perry Fire and Rescue 
•    Firefighter Doug Harlan – Perry Fire and Rescue 
•    Firefighter Izzy Baltazar – Perry Fire and Rescue 
•    Deputy Corey Van Kooten – Jasper County Sheriff's Office 
•    Deputy Brad Sheeder – Jasper County Sheriff's Office 
•    Lieutenant David Sprague – Jewell Fire and Rescue

Click here for photos from the event:

Click here to visit the web page for lifesaving summaries. 

Click here to see a recording of the Facebook livestream.

To make future nominations, or for general information on the Sullivan Brothers’ Award of Valor and Governor’s Lifesaving Awards, visit the DPS website: 


The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the largest law enforcement agency in the state. It includes six divisions and several bureaus, all working together with local, state and federal government agencies and the private sector, to keep Iowa a safe place by following our core values: leadership, integrity, professionalism, courtesy, service and protection. Divisions within the Iowa DPS: Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa State Fire Marshal Division, Iowa Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center, and Administrative Services Division. The Department of Public Safety is led by the Commissioner who is appointed by the Governor.

Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 E 7th St
Des Moines IA 50319