Sergeant Michael B. Webb
Kentucky State Police
Public Affairs Branch
Office (502) 782-1780
House Honors Injured KSP Trooper
Date of Release: 02/25/05
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 25, 2005) -- The Kentucky House of Representatives announced a resolution on Feb. 24 honoring Kentucky State Trooper Rick Conn. The officer was severely injured last year while helping rescue residents at the scene of a natural gas line explosion in Floyd County.
Rep. Chuck Meade, D-Hunter, from Floyd County, introduced House Resolution 71 honoring the trooper. On the House floor, Meade spoke of how Conn's actions altered the trooper's life. "These injuries (sustained during the rescue) may prevent him from ever returning to his normal duties as a state trooper," said Meade. "It's too early to tell if he can return to KSP Post 9 in Pikeville, where he has served for nine years. His quick thinking saved two lives, and his bravery is an example for all of us."
Conn, who had no prior knowledge that a House resolution had been drafted to honor him, was present for the resolution's reading. "I was humbled by the experience ... and so appreciative of the recognition."
He also was introduced to the Senate, which had passed an earlier resolution paying tribute to Conn. The trooper was in the hospital recuperating from injuries due to the explosion and fire when the Senate resolution was passed.
KSP Commissioner Mark L. Miller said he was pleased that the House recognized an officer who displayed such extraordinary valor. "Tpr. Conn made a great personal sacrifice the day he put himself in harm's way to rescue others. This is an admirable public acknowledgement of that sacrifice," said Miller. "Conn has said that what he did was what any other trooper would have done. Still, his actions that day represent the utmost dedication to his profession. He is a model of selflessness and courage for everyone."
Conn received second- and third-degree burns on his hands, chest and face while trying to rescue victims of the Nov. 9 explosion. The nine-year KSP veteran was off duty, driving through his Ivel neighborhood when the explosion occurred. The blast blew out windows of his SUV, and Conn crawled through a window to get out of the damaged vehicle. He heard cries for aid and ran to a burning house, where he helped a mother and her 2-year-old daughter escape. After Conn moved the two to safety, he collapsed from his injuries.
Conn is still undergoing physical therapy for his burns and has not returned to work.
Photo credit: Legislative Research Commission Public Information Office
Photo cutline: Rep. Chuck Meade, left, of Floyd County, with Tpr. Rick Conn after a House resolution honoring Conn was read on the House floor.