Ronald Matley of Powell was in the right place at the right time – and, unlike what many would do under similar circumstances, Matley did the right thing as well.
On October 5, 2021, Matley was on his bicycle when he came across the scene of a pickup truck explosion. While many bystanders stayed in their cars to avoid the fire, he choose to come up to the truck, noted the driver on the front seat, and pulled the victim out of the vehicle.
Acting qickly, Matley pulled the man free from the truck and some ten to fifteen yards away from the fire. He acted knowing of the dangerous situation, and received burns on his hands and ankle. Matley stayed with the victim until the arrival of an EMS unit.
For his heroism, last week Ronald Matley received the Citizens Award from the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of State Fire Marshal and the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Division of EMS during the state’s 41st annual Ohio Fire Service Hall of Fame & Fire Awards ceremony.
The event was held March 23 at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in downtown Columbus.
There are approximately 50,000 dedicated men and women who serve in Ohio’s fire service. The awards ceremony recognized the bravery, commitment and sacrifice those men and women make on behalf of their communities, as well as members of the public who, at great personal risk to themselves, are credited with directly saving or attempting to save a life or lives during an extreme fire or other emergency rescue situation.
Seventeen awards were presented. A video discussing Matley’s award can be watched below.