The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

June 20, 2013

Garfield County deputy goes from flames to fame

Officer and Waukomis firefighter honored by Oklahoma Sheriff’s Association

By Jessica Salmond, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Flames poured out of the kitchen windows, and smoke severely limited visibility when a Garfield County deputy entered a burning house to get a homeowner to safety on an early January morning.

Now, Deputy Darryl Beebe is being recognized for his service. Beebe received the Life Saving Award from the Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association June 14 in Tulsa.

“I felt honored,” Beebe said.

Garfield Country Sheriff Jerry Niles helped nominate Beebe for the award. He said he likes to recognize the work of deputies, especially when they go above and beyond. Niles was notified when Beebe was chosen to win the award by an Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association committee.

“I was excited. It was something that he deserves,” Niles said.

In late January, Beebe was on duty with Enid Police Department Officer Lee Frisendahl and heard a call go out for a structure fire. They were only a few blocks away from the fire and were first on the scene, Beebe said. The homeowner was outside when they arrived, but ran back inside for an unknown reason. Beebe and Frisendahl went in after the man. Beebe described the situation: The kitchen was engulfed in flames and there was low visibility due to thick smoke. Beebe said he managed to find the man and get him back outside.

“I attribute it to our training, knowing what to do,” Beebe said.

Both he and Frisendahl had firefighting training. Beebe is a volunteer firefighter with Waukomis Fire Department; Frisendahl is a volunteer for Hunter Fire Department.

Beebe had been backing up Frisendahl at a traffic stop when he heard the call about the fire. Beebe volunteered to go with Frisendahl.

“We just kicked into overdrive and went in there,” Frisendahl said. “He didn’t hesitate to run into the house with me. “

Once the victim was safe, Beebe and Frisendahl used fire extinguishers to attack the flames. When Enid Fire Department arrived on the scene, Beebe and Frisendahl had put out the fire.

Beebe did not have proper firefighter protective equipment with him, but went into the house to save the man and fought the fire anyway.

“This action is not something just any officer would be willing to take on,” stated a letter of nomination to the Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association submitted by Undersheriff Jonathan Marshall.

“We’re both amazed we got the fire out with two fire extinguishers,” Frisendahl said.