LA GRANDE – (Information provided by the La Grande Police Department) Officer Ryan Herbel was recently recognized with an Above and Beyond Award for service to our community beyond the call of duty. The recognition followed Officer Herbel using his own time and resources to drive a family to Portland after a near deadly car accident. During the summer of 2020, LGPD officers arrived first to the scene of a multi-vehicle, multi-patient accident. Officer Herbel, as well as his partner, Officer Scott Norton, played a pivotal role in assisting with a patient that was in critical condition before medics arrived.
Our officers followed medics to the hospital to assist the family of the patient. The patient was eventually Life Flighted to Portland with a bleak prognosis. The family was traveling from out of the area prior to the accident. Officer Herbel worked with community partners to find lodging for the family overnight.
The patient in Portland was not expected to live through the night. Officer Herbel knew the family could not wait and requested to take the rest of the night off to drive the family to Portland himself. “Your selfless act of kindness and mercy resulted in the family members making it to Portland while their daughter was still alive”, said Sergeant Dusty Perry, who wrote the commendation. “This level of devotion and humanity is exactly what we embody at the La Grande Police Department.” Officer Herbel delivered the family to Portland. The patient survived and was able to walk out of the hospital months later. “(Officer Herbel) went out of his way to do the right thing,” said City Manager Robert Strope. “It was an act of selflessness.”
Officer Herbel’s actions in this situation exemplify our core values and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the La Grande Police Department. Thank you for your service to the City of La Grande and LGPD.