A late-night fire struck the Cairo Senior Apartments in early February.
Flames were shooting from the roof and the southwest portion of the building when Sgt. Nicholas Berry and Cpl. Kyle Easley of the Missouri Highway Patrol arrived only three minutes after notification.
Immediate evacuation of the four, single-lever apartments was evident and crucial.
Easley located an 87-year-old female standing in her doorway. She appeared scared and confused and wanted to retrieve items from her apartment. But Easley quickly escorted her to a parking lot out of harm's way.
At the same time, Berry found another apartment door to be locked and kicked it in. Under heavy smoke, he discovered the 74-year-old occupant in his bed, wrapped him in blankets and found his house slippers and escorted him out.
In the second apartment Easley responded to, he observed a 70-year-old male in a wheelchair putting on his shoes. The corporal escorted him and his dog to the parking lot.
After the evacuation, Berry and Easley and the local firefighters moved vehicles from the parking lot to avoid damage.
Berry, 45, has been with the Missouri Highway Patrol for 18 years and Easley, who is 29, has been with the patrol for seven years.
"This situation created a considerable danger to the personal safety of Sgt. Berry and Cpl. Easley. Their decisive actions went above and beyond the call of duty and were directly responsible for saving the lives of the occupants."
The State Employee of the Month is selected by the State Employee of the Month Selection Committee from among nominations submitted by the 16 state departments and some elected offices. The six committee members also are members of the State Training Advisory Council.