FARGO — The North Dakota Highway Patrol (NDHP) conducted an awards ceremony on Friday at the NDHP Fargo Office. The following individuals received the NDHP Colonel’s Award for Excellence for their response to two incidents in the Fargo area in 2021. The individuals were:
• Trooper Bennett Strege, NDHP - Fargo
• Elizabeth Romaine, Wahpeton, ND
• Andrew Revier, Fargo, ND
• Mitchell Lau Jr, Moorhead, MN
Andrew Revier and Mitchell Lau were presented the Colonel’s Award for Excellence for their actions during an incident on October 11th, 2021:
• During the evening rush hour on October 11th, 2021, a distressed male jumped out of a moving vehicle southbound I-29 at the 13th Ave Overpass. After jumping from the vehicle, the male was runover by the vehicle. The male then ran toward the concrete bridge railing and was attempting to jump from I-29 onto 13th Ave. Mitchell Lau was southbound on I-29 in a commercial motor vehicle when this occurred. Lau stopped his truck to block traffic from running over the male, then exited his truck and ran after the male. Lau was able to pull the male from the concrete bridge railing and pinned the male to the ground. The male was struggling with Lau and yelling he wanted to die. Revier was also southbound on I-29 and observed the incident. He stopped his vehicle and assisted Lau with restraining the distressed male until emergency responders could arrive. Both Lau and Revier acted in a selfless manner to assist a distressed person in need. They put themselves at risk to save the life of this male. The male involved was taken to Sanford Hospital to be treated for his injuries after the incident.
Trooper Strege and Elizabeth Romaine were presented the Colonel’s Award for Excellence for their actions during a house fire on November 30th, 2021:
• On November 30th, a structure fire occurred south of Fargo on Co. Rd. 18, south of 124th Ave South. Elizabeth Romaine was traveling southbound on Co. Rd. 81 when she observed the fire. Elizabeth had been a member of the Dwight Fire Department for 1 ½ years and was a Richland County Dispatcher at the time of the incident. Elizabeth immediately called 911 to report the fire and drove into the farmstead. The home at the farmstead was fully engulfed in flames. Trooper Strege was on patrol in the same area and came upon the fire. He contacted dispatch and called in the fire. He also pulled into the farmstead and observed Romaine and could hear screaming. Strege and Romaine found the female homeowner on a ladder at the back of the home removing pets from the house. Strege and Romaine assisted the homeowner with removing animals and placing them in nearby shelters. After a short time, the fire became too dangerous and Strege and Romaine convinced the female she had to move away from the house. As this was occurring, the male homeowner was attempting to move a tractor that was on fire away from the house. The male was burned by the fire and Strege instructed the male to roll in the snow to put the fire out and Romaine helped the male roll on the ground. After the male was able to extinguish the fire on his clothing, Romaine had the male wait in her warm vehicle until an ambulance arrived and could take over care. Both Strege and Romaine remained on scene while the fire was being fought by the Kindred and West Fargo Rural Fire Departments. The home was a total loss. Romaine and Strege were instrumental, at risk to themselves, in assisting this family with rescuing pets from the home and then ensuring the homeowners did not re-enter the home and become victims themselves. Both displayed selfless actions to save others.
The NDHP Colonel’s Award of Excellence is awarded by the NDHP Superintendent to NDHP employees and citizens for actions that have benefited the NDHP and State of North Dakota. Individuals can be nominated by any NDHP employee for this award.