Carnegie Medal Presentation to Heath Martin

Hero Fund President Eric Zahren presented the Carnegie Medal to Springboro (Ohio) police officer Heath Martin Thursday, April 4, 2024, at the Springboro Council meeting.

“While we recognize with gratitude the service and sacrifice of our police and first-responders always, consideration for the Carnegie Medal for Heroism requires that the act must clearly be beyond the line of duty,” Zahren said at the council meeting.

Last June, Martin responded to a house fire and entered the smoke-filled home. Inside, 36-year-old Joshua Unglesby, who is paralyzed from the waist down, was on the floor in a back bedroom and responded to Martin’s calls. 

Martin ran 25 feet down a long hallway to the bedroom and threw the door open. Thick, black smoke issued through the doorway making it difficult to breathe. He heard Unglesby but told him he could not reach him because of the smoke. Martin retreated and ran to the home’s front door, which he opened for responding firefighters. He then returned to the bedroom, went to his knees and crawled inside. Surrounded by flames, he found Unglesby in the back corner of the room and picked him up in a bear hug. As he attempted to exit carrying Unglesby, he tripped and the two fell. Martin then held Unglesby under his arms and dragged him to the front door. Unglesby suffered second-degree burns and continues to recover. Martin suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation but recovered.

“Officer Heath Martin clearly acted outside of his professional obligation and duty, and is being recognized for his heroic, selfless, human action, which is the basis of the Carnegie Medal,” Zahren said. “By acting selflessly toward others and sacrificing his safety in behalf of a human being in deadly peril, Officer Martin did more than save a life, he also provides a shining example for us to improve on our own lives by acting more selflessly toward others.”

Unglesby attended the presentation, as well as Martin’s two sons, wife, and parents. 

“Thank you everyone for being here,” Martin said after receiving the Medal. “I feel like I was just doing my job. What I was supposed to do. What God called me to do. I’m grateful I could be there for Josh and his family on that day.”

Pictured, from left, are Councilman Dale Brunner, Mayor John Agenbroad, Police Chief Dan Bentley, Martin, Zahren, and Councilmen Stephen Harding, Jim Chmiel, and Jack Hanson.