Carnegie Medal presentation to Jordan B. Kurtzer

Nebraska Lt. Gov. Joe Kelly, right, presented the Carnegie Medal for heroism to Jordan B. Kurtzer at a ceremony held Feb. 7 at the Lincoln, Nebraska, State Capitol building.

Kurtzer entered a sinking pickup truck to free the unconscious driver in a residential pond in Lincoln on Sept. 3, 2022. As the truck sank in water 7 feet deep, Kurtzer used a tire iron to break the truck’s rear windshield, leaned through the opening, and unlocked a rear door. Kurtzer opened the rear door, causing water to flood the car’s interior. Kurtzer entered the back seat, unlatched the driver’s seat belt, and reclined his seat to grab the man’s arm, pulling him to the back seats. Finding two child-sized life jackets, Kurtzer and the other motorist placed them around the man’s arm and floated him out of the truck to safety. A police officer who had responded also entered the pond and helped Kurtzer and the motorist take the man to the bank.