11th of 31 NYC DOC Medal Day 2011 NYCHS image pages

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C.O. Russell Simplice stood at attention as the citation that accompanied his DOC Medal of Honor was recited. Then the officer posed with the Chief and the Commissioner in displaying the award.
The following citation with the award to C.O. Russell Simplice is taken from the Medal Day 2011 booklet.

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CORRECTION OFFICER RUSSELL SIMPLICE, TRANSPORTATION UNIT

Office Russell Simplice was raking the lawn at his Queens home on April 3rd when, he recalls, "I heard a loud screech, then a 'Boom!'"

Officer Simplice says: "I started walking toward the sound and that's when I realized what was going on."

Upon getting a closer look, Officer Simplice noticed five passengers in a green van pinned to a tree. There were three young children and two parents in the van, with one of the children and the parents in need of immediate assistance.

Officer Simplice sprung into action. Ignoring broken glass and other debris, he worked to open the rear door to the van wide enough for him to crawl inside and rescue one of the children.

"I felt this adrenaline rush and just ran in there and grabbed her," he says. "A neighbor gave me a white towel to wrap her in, and I handed her to my wife. And then I went back in to help the parents."

Officer Simplice is also a Private 1st Class with the 14th Brigade in the New York Guard State defense force in Whitestone. His training in emergency preparedness came in handy as he knew that the most important part of his response was to keep all of the victims calm until they were able to get medical assistance.

Indeed, all the passengers lived after receiving proper medical care. Not only did he risk his own life to save a family, he remained humble throughout, insisting: "I didnít do anything special, just what I would expect anyone else to do."

WEBMASTER NOTE: At Medal Day 2011 ceremonies in the George Motchan Detention Center (GMDC) on Rikers Island Nov. 15th, the NYC Department of Correction honored staff for heroic acts on and off the job, as well as for distinguished and exceptional on-the-job performance and community service. This New York Correction History Society (NYCHS) presentation features images derived from photos taken by NYCHS at the event as well as texts and images scanned by NYCHS from NYC DOC's Medal Day 2011 booklet distributed at the ceremonies.

Preliminaries, 0 -- 8; DOC medals, 9 -- 15; Mayor's awards, 16 -- 18; Unit Citations, 19 -- 21; union awards, 22 -- 28; benediction, 29; booklet lists, 30 & 31.
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