Carnegie Medal Presentation to Ryan Pasborg

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon, left, presented the Carnegie Medal for Heroism to Ryan Pasborg at a ceremony held at the Governor’s residence in Cheyenne on April 27, 2024.

Pasborg was awarded the Medal in December for saving the life of a mother and her son who were trapped inside their burning home in Green River, Wyoming. 

On Feb. 2, 2022, the 4-year-old boy and his mother, 34, had fallen unconscious inside the kitchen of their burning home. Pasborg, then 33, was driving to work when he smelled smoke and noticed flames in the home’s front windows. After being alerted that the boy and mother remained inside by three siblings who had already escaped, Pasborg entered the home and climbed the steps to the kitchen, where intense smoke forced him to his hands and knees. He crawled farther into the house and came upon the boy. Hugging the boy with one arm and still crawling, he retreated until he could stand and eventually carried the boy through the garage to safety. Pasborg instructed the children to seek refuge inside his work truck before he reentered the home to look for their mother. Crawling again through the kitchen despite intense flames, heat, and smoke, Pasborg searched until he found her. He grasped her under the arms and dragged her from the home to safety. Pasborg performed CPR on the woman before driving her and the children to first responders at the end of their long driveway. The boy later recovered from burns to his arms and legs. The mother suffered burns to more than 60 percent of her body but recovered. Pasborg inhaled smoke but did not seek medical treatment.

“I never thought it would happen,” Pasborg told Cowboy State Daily after the presentation. “I never believed it would go as far as this.”

“Here, we can count on heroes like Ryan,” Governor Mark Gordon said. “We get a toughness and a grit from our shared experiences, from our weather and from a oneness in looking out for each other.”

The mother and boy that Pasborg had saved were both in attendance, along with the rest of their family, to watch him receive the medal.

“It’s amazing, we wouldn’t be here without him,” Stephanie Wadsworth said