Trooper Ronald L. Roberts
Troop L - Ft. Pierce
Trooper Ronald L. Roberts has been selected as recipient of the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month award for April, 1998, based on his heroic efforts to rescue two victims of a house fire.
On April 11, 1998, Trooper Roberts was traveling northbound on U.S. #1 in Ft. Pierce, St. Lucie County, when he noticed a house burning west of U.S. #1. Roberts responded to the scene and advised the FHP Duty Officer of the situation. He found a woman sitting on the step of the house crying. She then tried to enter the house, but Trooper Roberts held her back. Roberts subsequently learned that there were possibly two persons inside the house; a child and an adult.
Trooper Roberts retrieved his fire extinguisher from his patrol car and entered the house through the front door, using his extinguisher to knock down the flames. He started crawling through the house on his knees, under the smoke, calling for the child and the adult, but no one answered. Roberts then exited the house and began breaking windows from the outside in another attempt to find the victims. He then tried to enter the house again, but the smoke and flames were too intense.
The woman initially found in front of the house tried to enter it again, but Trooper Roberts was able to restrain her. At this time, the Ft. Pierce Police and Fire Departments arrived on the scene. When the fire was extinguished, the two victims were found in the house.
Although the two victims died during this fire, Trooper Roberts made a heroic effort to save them. He was also responsible for keeping the female victim on the scene safe by restraining her from entering the burning house. Roberts’ actions were clearly beyond the call of duty.
Trooper Roberts is an eight-year veteran of the Florida Highway Patrol assigned to Troop L, Ft. Pierce.