An Iowa firefighter and a Virginia county sheriff were honored Aug. 31 at the American Legion’s national convention in Milwaukee.
Lt. Ryan T. Winkler, a member of the Clinton Fire Department in Iowa, was named the 2022 National Firefighter of the Year. He also volunteers as a first responder and training officer with the fire department. Charlotte’s arson attack in her hometown.
Winkler was cited for his bravery, which included his actions during a house fire on May 23, 2019. Entering through the window of a burning house, he found an unconscious resident lying on the floor. Despite significant flames, Winkler and the other members of his crew were able to rescue the victim – who was hospitalized and ultimately survived his injuries.
Winkler has been a member of the Clinton Fire Department since 2009 and holds an associate degree in fire science from Kirkwood Community College.
“It is difficult for firefighters to accept awards as individuals. It’s no different,” Winkler said. “The lives saved weren’t saved by me alone, couldn’t have been saved by me alone. All my life I’ve been on different teams. Even when I was young, I knew I wanted being part of a team. Credit for this award goes to the teams I have been part of.
The Legion’s 2022 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year was presented to Sheriff David R. Hines of Hanover Co., Va., who has more than 35 years of law enforcement experience. law. A graduate of the University of Richmond and the FBI National Academy, he was recognized by Virginia Governors Bob McDonnell and Terry McCauliffe for his service and expertise. He was appointed to the Governor’s Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse, as well as the Governor’s Board on Juvenile Justice.
Hines, who was unable to accept his award in person, had previously been selected as Virginia’s American Legion Department Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.