Fifteen Awards of Valor presented to heroic police officers, firefighters

When Sharon Sell became a Bridgeport Borough Police Officer after more than 30 years of working as a nurse, she didn’t necessarily expect to have to deliver a baby.

However, that happened last year, all by herself.

The delivery was long and difficult, and the mother did not speak English. When the baby was born, the infant was unresponsive. Officer Shell immediately had to administer CPR.

It ended exactly the way you’d hope.

“I was fortunate enough that I was able to spend her first birthday with her recently,” Officer Sell said.

She received one of the 15 Awards of Valor at the annual ceremony at the National Liberty Museum on Thursday night. 

Sponsored by the Philadelphia-area Chevy Dealers Group, the awards recognize police officers and first responders for remarkable acts of heroism and for being role models in the community.

For many of the brave men and women, it also means a lifelong friendship.

Lieutenant Frank Boyle with Cheltenham Township EMS responded to a woman in a parking lot who went into cardiac arrest. Doctors said she had no oxygen flowing to her brain for 45 minutes.

On Thursday night, she was there to cheer him on.

It’s a miracle, I’m grateful that God chose Frank to be a part of me being back alive,” says Hallie Say.

Philadelphia Firefighter Joseph Rippert received a standing ovation after he received his award.

Rippert ran into his neighbor’s burning home in the middle of the night, off-duty, without gear, to rescue a man unconscious inside. He said the smoke was so bad, he had to leave and re-enter.

“I got him, held my legs under him, just held my breath, and got him to the top of the steps and ladder 30 took him down the steps,” Rippert said.

The man lived.

Like all of the brave men and woman recipients on Thursday, Rippert said he was “just doing his job.”

However, those they helped, will say it’s much more than that.

“He’s a real hero,” says Say. “He’s just a guardian angel in a uniform and without him absolutely not giving up, I wouldn’t be here.”