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Six Davenport first responders recognized as ‘Responder of the Year’

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DAVENPORT-- Six Davenport first responders were recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Fire Lieutenant Justin Cheek, Engineer Adam Larnar, and Firefighter Jim Laban received Firefighters of the Year for saving a drowning man from the Mississippi River back in July. The three say it was in the middle of the night, so they couldn't see anything without a strobe light. They searched and luckily found the man by spotting his face surface the water.

"It's the best job in the world. I feel very fortunate I was able to find this career path. It's something I really love," says Engineer Larnar. Larnar was driving the rescue boat that night.

Three police officers received Police officer of the Year. Officers Brett Digman, Austin Rykeghem, and Evan Obert saved a man, who was on drugs, from killing himself. The officers got the call and came to a Davenport home back in December where they found the man with several stab wounds in his neck. They remember blood covering the man and the floors. After trying to convince the man to let them help, the officers had to restrain him to save his life.

"We just did what we were supposed to do when we get a call. And we responded and ended up saving the gentleman's life," says Officer Rykeghem.

Davenport's American Legion Post 26 presented the awards.