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Four Waukee First Responders Honored With Sullivan Brothers’ Award of Valor

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Four Waukee first responders are being honored for their heroic efforts to try to save a woman's life earlier this year.

On June 26, 38-year-old Shessla Whitlow lost control of her vehicle on Hickman Road. The car drove into a pond, trapping Whitlow inside. Witnesses, along with Clint Robinson, Josh Hutton and Justin Frederick of the Waukee Fire Department and Waukee Police Sgt. Hector Arias quickly jumped into the water to help.

"The car was completely submerged, and I could see individuals going in the water to try and help and really in my mind I was going wow, this is not what I expected. So that's when I knew I had to go in," said Sgt. Arias.

Today, the four men were given the Sullivan Brothers' Award of Valor. It is an honor awarded annually to police officers and firefighters who perform a heroic act that exceeds the normal demands of service.

Whitlow was taken to the hospital but did not survive.