Sgt. Joseph Leubbers helped victims escape an apartment fire in March.
Sgt. Joseph J. Luebbers of the Wilmington District’s Criminal Patrol of the Ohio State Highway Patrol was honored for his life-saving actions by alerting residents of a fire at their apartment complex.
On March 11, Sgt. Luebbers was traveling eastbound on Refugee Road in Columbus when he observed a fire at an apartment complex. He pulled into the complex, activated his siren, and used his public address system to alert residents.
Once he was advised that the Columbus Fire Department had been dispatched, he began to help residents from exiting the building. As he ran through a breezeway to the area where the flames were the most intense, he found a woman lying on a concrete walkway and several bystanders trying to assist her. The woman had jumped from a third floor window and suffered a broken leg. With hot embers falling all around them, Sgt. Luebbers and two bystanders moved the woman to a safer location.
He then continued to look for other residents in need of help. A person calling from a third-floor window told Sgt. Luebbers he could not escape because the fire had reached his front door. Sgt. Luebbers convinced the subject not to jump because rescue personnel were on the way. He stayed in contact with the subject until firefighters were able to rescue the man with a ladder.
Sgt. Luebbers joined the Patrol in January 1993 as a member of the 124th Academy Class. He received his commission in June of that year and was assigned to the Batavia Post. As a trooper, he served at the Hamilton Post and at the Wilmington District Headquarters. In 2001, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and transferred to the Springfield Post where he served as an assistant post commander. As a sergeant, he also served at the Hamilton and Xenia Posts. In 2010, he transferred to his most recent assignment at Wilmington District’s Criminal Patrol.
Sgt. Luebbers earned an Associate of Arts degree in liberal arts from the University of Cincinnati in 1992.