CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Clarksville Police Officers Darren Koski and Donald Gipson earned a standing ovation and congratulatory handshakes and hugs from Mayor Kim McMillan the Clarksville City Council last week in recognition of their brave actions to save a man from a burning house.
The officers went to a fire call at 6:15 a.m. Jan. 6 on Stafford Street, kicked in the front door, and helped remove a resident who had been sleeping in his bedroom. Shortly after moving the man to safety, the house exploded.
Mayor McMillan read a proclamation at the Feb. 1 City Council meeting commending the
heroic actions of Koski and Gipson and urging all citizens to show their gratitude and appreciation for the officers.
“On behalf of a grateful City, we say Thank You,” Mayor McMillan said.
Police Chief Al Ansley told the meeting that without the brave actions of Koski and Gipson the resident probably would have perished in the fire. He also thanked the City Council for investing in the new Computer Aided Dispatch system the City of Clarksville and Montgomery County installed a few months ago.
“These officers got to the house within a minute and half of the call thanks to the new CAD system,” Ansley said. “Without our improved system, it would have been much longer, and the outcome would have been much different.”
On Friday, Feb. 2 Chief Ansley awarded Medals of Valor to Gipson and Koski “for performing an exceptional act in a commendable manner in the line of duty, while demonstrating great personal bravery in an extremely dangerous situation.”
Katy Hagstrom of the American Red Cross gave each officer a Red Cross Extraordinary
Personal Action Certificate in recognition of saving a human life.
Here is the full proclamation issued by Mayor McMillan:
City of Clarksville
Honoring Officers Darren Koski
and Donald Gipson for their bravery
WHEREAS, on the morning of January 6, 2018 the Clarksville Police Department
responded to a call of a house on fire at 834 Stafford Street and were first on the
WHEREAS, Officers Darren Koski and Donald Gipson arrived on the scene and were
advised there may be a person inside the home and quickly assessed the scene.
After realizing the inside of the residence was on fire and that the life of a citizen
may be in danger the decision to enter the home was made without concern of
their own wellbeing; and
WHEREAS, While staying low and remaining in contact with each other by holding each
other’s ankles the Officers were able to locate the resident of the home, who had
been asleep in his bedroom.; and
WHEREAS, the disoriented resident of the home came crawling on his hands and knees
toward the flashlights of Officer Koski and Officer Gipson. Within seconds of
getting to safety an explosion occurred and the house was fully engulfed; and
WHEREAS, Were it not for the actions of Officers Koski and Gipson, who put their lives in
danger, the resident of the home would have certainly perished. Officer Gipson’s and Koski’s actions during this incident are a credit to themselves, the Clarksville Police Department, and the entire City of Clarksville; and
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Kim McMillan, Mayor of Clarksville, Tennessee do hereby recognize, the
heroic actions of Officer Darren Koski and Officer Donald Gipson and urge all citizens to show their overwhelming gratitude and appreciation for these officers and all of our public safety officials who carry out their mission to protect us every day. On behalf of a grateful City, we say “Thank you.”
Kim McMillan, City Mayor
Sylvia Skinner, City Clerk
Clarksville Police Chief Al Ansley and Mayor Kim McMillan presented proclamations Feb. 1 to Officers Donald Gipson and Darren Koski for their heroic actions to remove a man from a burning house. On Friday the officers also received Medals of Valor from Chief Ansley.