OPSO deputy recognized for saving woman trapped in burning car

Photo courtesy: Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office
Photo courtesy: Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office(KNOE)
Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 5:56 PM CST
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OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE) - Seven-year veteran of OPSO, Deputy Rusty Breland, saved a woman after a serious crash back in May, and he’s been in contact with her and her family ever since the horrific accident.

The West Monroe-West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce recognized Deputy Breland with “The Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy of the Year Award.”

Breland said he witnessed a car accident on T. John Rd., when one of the cars caught on fire, leaving the driver stuck inside the burning car. That’s when Breland knew he had to do something and do it fast.

“I jerked the door open and could see she was in extreme pain in her leg and I scooped her up out the car and ran her back to my unit and I got her in the back seat, threw my unit in reverse to get it away.”

“She was crying, she was emotional, I got emotional, she just kept thanking me for being there and for saving her.”

Breland visited the woman in the hospital the very next day. He said she is still recovering after surgery but she credits Breland for her life. He also said while it’s nice to be recognized, all he really did that day was his job.

Breland will also be receiving an award Saturday morning from the VFW for “First Responder of the Year.”