Carnegie Medal Presentation to Tu Anh Tran

Lincoln police officer Tu Anh Tran was presented with the Carnegie Medal for Heroism on March 22 by Nebraska Lt. Gov.  Joe Kelly at a presentation held at the Lincoln, Nebraska, Police Department’s annual award ceremony. Pictured is Tran with Kelly.

Tran was awarded the Carnegie Medal after he rescued a woman from drowning in Lincoln on Feb. 22, 2023. The woman, 27, remained in her sedan after it left a roadway and entered a frigid pond on a golf course. The air temperature was in the low 20s with a single-digit wind chill. Police Sergeant Tran, 36, was in his cruiser when he was alerted to the incident and responded. Tran ran down to the bank, removed his ballistic vest and duty belt, and entered the water in his uniform and boots. He reached the vehicle, which by then was submerged except for its trunk. Tran pulled on the handle of the rear, driver’s-side door, opening it. He submerged his face in the water, but due to murky water, visibility was limited beneath the pond’s surface. Tran reached inside the sedan and felt the woman’s legs as she submerged, resurfaced, and grasped Tran by his arms. He then grasped her arm and shoulder and pulled her free of the vehicle, which fully submerged seconds later. Holding onto the woman by her shirt, Tran towed her as he swam toward the closer bank. When they reached wadable water, others assisted Tran and the woman out of the pond to safety. The woman was cold and was taken by ambulance to a hospital to be monitored. She was later released and recovered the following day. Tran was cold and nearly exhausted, but he did not seek treatment, and recovered.

“We are humbled to know his work is being honored with this prestigious award and are so grateful for his willingness to jump into freezing cold water to save someone’s life,” the Lincoln Police Department posted on Facebook after the award ceremony.

Officer Tran was also selected by his representatives, senators Pete Ricketts and Deb Fischer, to attend the State of the Union in Washington, D.C., and was honored for his service to his community.