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Bedford Firefighter DeWayne Turpen Honored For Saving A Life
Updated May 5, 2013 1:11 AM
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(BEDFORD) - Bedford Fire Chief Jon Wagner presented a letter of commendation to Fire Inspector/Firefighter DeWayne Turpen at the Board of Works meeting, Tuesday afternoon

Turpen is credited for saving the life of his neighbor Margaretta Garland.

Turpen was alerted that Garland may have been in trouble after a mail carrier noticed she had not gotten her mail out of her mailbox for three days. The mail carrier notified a neighbor, then notified Turpen.

Turpen went to the home and when the 86-year-old woman didn't answer, he entered and found her on the floor, confused, dehydrated and cold. She had fallen and been on the floor for three days.

Turpen called an ambulance and stayed with Garland until help arrived. Wagner says Garland recovered and is doing well because of Turpen's actions.

"I was just doing what I was taught to do," Turpen says. "I did what I had to. I've had a lot of good teachers and mentors at the fire department through the years and it is just our nature to do what we need to do. I am just following in their footsteps."

Wagner also asked the board to approve the promotions of Capt. John Dixon to battalion chief, Lieutenant Jeffrey Key to captain, senior firefighter James Elkins to lieutenant and Firefighter 1st Class Neil Riley to the rank of sergeant.

Bedford Mayor Shawna Girgis swore in Bedford Police officer Derek Blackwell during the meeting. Blackwell has just completed his probationary years.

The board also approved the resignation of BPD Officer Dayson Smith. Smith left Bedford to join the Indianapolis Police Department. His first day on the force there was Tuesday.

"He is getting married this summer and moved to Indianapolis because that is where his wife works," Chief Dennis Parsley says. "We have started the process to replace Officer Smith."

In other business:

* The board held the first of two public meetings for the application process to the Indiana Office Of Community And Rural Affairs for a grant from the Department's Community Focus Fund Of The State Community Development Block Grant Program for the historic restoration of the Community Learning Center.

* The board approved the INDOT Project Coordination Contract. Lawrence County Tourism Commission Executive Director Dave Branneman asked the city to be the fiscal agent for the grant. Mayor Girgis signed an agreement for the Scenic and Historic Highways to fabrication and install highway signs featuring Indiana's Historic Pathways logo.

* The board approved to pay Arthur Paving in three increments for work completed on the Mitchell Road paving project. Plan Director Dan Kirk says the company is currently building a 6-inch berm on both sides of the road.

"We are doing this for safety reasons," Kirk told the board.

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