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The selflessness of two Sedgwick County Sheriff's deputies was honored with the Carnegie Medal.
Thomas Delgado and Joseph Page received the recognition for pulling a 65-year-old man from a burning truck in the 3700 block of S. Broadway on Aug. 31, 2011.
Delgado was the first at the scene.
"As I approached, you could see a large plume of black smoke, and then I noticed that the vehicle had actually crashed into the guardrail," Delgado said. "The driver was still inside of it."
Page arrived with a fire extinguisher shortly after.
"The direction I arrived at, all I could see was the passenger side of the truck, and it was pretty much fully engulfed in flames," Page said. "I'm thinking 'this is bad,' because all I could see was fire."
Delgado tried to coax the man out of the car, but he refused. The man would not let go of the steering wheel, hitting the gas pedal hard. The man had a medical condition.
As the flames grew, the deputies put their lives on the line.
"We went up there and each of us just grabbed an arm," Page said. "We just pulled real hard. I thought we were going to pull his arms out of his sockets."
"I definitely was scared. I'm not ashamed to say it," Delgado said.
The deputies pulled the man to safety.
"One, it is my job, but two, as seeing another human being, there was no way that I wasn't going to try to do something just for the simple fact that I couldn't live with myself not trying," Delgado said.
The deputies were honored with the Carnegie Medal on Wednesday. The medal is presented by the Carnegie Commission of Pittsburgh, Pa.
The award has been presented to 9,576 people since 1904.
"I'm greatly honored and definitely humbled by it. You can't thank them enough," Delgado said. "But on the flipside of it, we've learned of what other courageous acts other people have done. It makes you feel kind of small."
Delgado has been with the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Department for 15 years. This is Page's sixth year.
"It's overwhelming," Page said of the award. "People in my line of work and my coworkers, we do things all the time that put our lives in danger, typically, and you never think about it until something like this happens."