Guardsmen get Life Saving Award for Heroic Actions

Story by Staff Sgt. Michael Davis

BERLIN, Md. – Two Maryland Army National Guard Soldiers, Sgt. Maj. Merle L. Bragg Jr. with the 29th infantry division, and Sgt. Edward L. Carmean with the 290th military police company, both senior police officers with the Berlin Police Department, were presented with the Life Saving Award, Aug. 11, 2014 at the Council Chambers – Berlin Town Hall in Berlin, Md.

Bragg and Carmean heroically rescued a 6-year-old girl, Mia McKenize, from a residential house fire on April 17, 2014, at 117 Branch Street.

The two-story home was filled with heavy smoke and fire vented from the front of the house. Bragg and Carmean were dispatched to the fire and were close enough to the scene to take action before the fire department’s arrival.

“When they made it to the house and saw the fire coming out of the front door, the officers fiercely went around the house to find possible entry points,” said Arnold R. Downing, chief of the Berlin Police Department. “What they found and what they saw was a small hand from a rear window.”

Bragg used his fist to break the window and Carmean used his baton to break and rake the remainder of the glass. They pulled Mia out of the window and safely brought her to a neighbor. Mia then told them that her mother was still in the house.

Bragg and Carmean ran back to the house along with the firefighters, who by then arrived on the scene, in attempt to save Mia’s mother. The fire firefighters were able to rescue her and she is now doing fine.

After Bragg and Carmean were presented with their award, Mia and her family thanked them both for their brave actions.

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