Christian County deputy among 17 statewide recognized with Missouri Public Safety Award

Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 3:32 PM CDT
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SPARTA, Mo. (KY3) - Eleven law officers and firefighters, and 6 civilians were recognized Tuesday as heroes by Missouri Governor Mike Parson.

It’s an honor many say carries much more weight this year-- in the current climate for officers.

A deputy from Christian County was among the 17 heroes, after he helped save a woman from drowning in June of 2019.

“We got the call, we weren’t really sure the location. It was from an Apple watch.”

HELP! is all Christian County Deputy Thomas Buchness heard. He was first on scene.

“It truly was a community effort. There was a teenage girl that led us down to the path with her mom there. They already had an extension cord on the ground I think for other purposes. We were able to utilize the extension cord as an emergency lasso pretty much to ensure she did not get swept away by the rising rivers,” Buchness explained.

Two other deputy back-ups lassoed the girl, as Deputy Buchness held on.

“I took my gear off, got out there on the log to support her, grab a hold of her while the other two deputies, Deputy Marselo and Deputy Watson were able to lasso the extension cord around her to maintain control of her so she wouldn’t float away.”

She was already beat up after having been swept downstream from swimming with friends at Lindenlure. The rising waters proved too swift for her to get her footing.

Buchness says he’s humbled to be honored, but says there are others he wishes could be in his spot.

“It’s a somber reflection as far as Officer Walsh who lost his life this year, and Officer Priebe who is still fighting his injuries. It’s an honor to be nominated, but those guys definitely are the real heroes,” said Buchness.

Deputy Buchness was one of 17 to be presented this year’s Missouri Public Safety Medals by Governor Parson.

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