Deputy receives ‘Congressional Badge of Bravery’ for saving three lives

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CHARLOTTE, Mich. (WILX) - An Eaton County Sheriff’s deputy was honored with a Congressional Badge of Braveryr Friday.

The award was presented inside the training room at the Eaton County Sheriff’s office.

Deputy Andrew Jenkins is credited with saving the lives of three people trapped inside a burning home on the 73000 block of Creekside Drive in Delta Township on December 20.

Body camera video shows the break taking rescue right before the home was fully engulfed in flames.

“A lot of people ask me if I would do it differently, I would do it the same way every time,” Jenkins said.

According to the Office of Justice Programs website, the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Act of 2008, establishes an award to honor exceptional acts of bravery in the line of duty by federal, state, and local law enforcement officers.

Jenkins is the second Michigan officer to receive the award.

“The fact that everyone got out is the biggest thing, you can't replace a life but you can replace property,” Jenkins said.

Senator’s Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters presented Friday’s award.

“When you think about someone whose instincts went into gear, that’s what happens with law enforcement and firefighters,” said Stabenow. “They're not thinking about their own safety, they’re instincts go into gear.”

“It was a rescue operation that was done with precision and that was done with precision and bravery,” said Peters.

Sheriff Tom Reich called Jenkins with the news who was a bit taken back.

“Andrew on the other end [of the phone] was excited but it didn't come over on the phone,” said Reich. “It was more of a shock, he didn't know that we put him in for that award.”

“It seemed like it came out of nowhere,” said Jenkins. “When the sheriff called I was really surprised and excited.”

As an officer's bravery is honored, a department hopes others are inspired in helping out one another.

“We are there to protect, we are there to serve,” said Reich. “We have a job to do and we do a great job at saving lives, this is just an example.”

Deputy Jenkins was taken to the hospital that night for smoke inhalation. He added the badge to his collection of other awards the night of December 20.

Click here for Jenkin’s first interview with News 10.