LFR members of Task Force One honored with Mayor’s award

LFR members of Task Force One honored with Mayor’s award
LFR members of Task Force One honored with Mayor’s award(Ellis Wiltsey)
Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 9:33 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Nebraska Task Force One answers the call everywhere in the world but just over two years ago, that call was right here in Nebraska.

Monday, Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird honored eight members for their heroic actions during the historic flooding of 2019.

The eight were also members of Lincoln Fire and Rescue. They were given the Mayor’s Award of Excellence for 2019 because of a postponed ceremony due to COVID.

The members were deployed to some of the hardest-hit areas of the floods, like Columbus and Monroe.

“Our direct neighbors that needed our help,” said Dan Ripley, task force leader, NETF1. “It was really an honor for our task force to be able to go deploy quickly, efficiently, and effectively make rescues.”

The conditions those teams worked in were some of the worst the team had seen. With high and fast waters, unpredictable currents, and frigid temperatures just to name a few.

“Created some extra challenges that put our task force to the test,” Ripley said.

Those honored included members with various roles:

  • Captain Daniel Ripley, Task Force Leader
  • Captain Mark Majors, Rescue Team Manager
  • Firefighter Robert Simons, Medical Specialist
  • Firefighter Amanda Benson, Water Specialist
  • Firefighter Webster Farris, Water Specialist
  • Firefighter Justin Henkel, Water Specialist
  • Firefighter Paramedic Brady Papik, Water Specialist
  • Fire Captain Michael Wright, Water Specialist

“Nebraska Task Force One was able to rescue 18 civilians and six animals over two days,” said Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird.

They were selected by a committee that reviews all of the monthly winners from the previous year.

“Just nice to be recognized as part of what we did in our own state,” Ripley said.

The 2019 Honorable Mention Award was also presented, to five members of the Water Production Division of LTU. For their work to keep Lincoln’s water supply going after the flooding in Ashland in 2019.

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