Steve Gilfillan of the Coffeyville Police Department was awarded the Cherokee Nation Medal of Patriotism by Tribal Council member Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Principal Chief Bill John Baker.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation honored Coffeyville police officer and Cherokee citizen Steve Gilfillan with the Cherokee Medal of Patriotism this month for his heroic actions saving a man from a house fire.
Gilfillan, a 12-year veteran with the Coffeyville Police Department, was the first on the scene of a house fire on South Willow Street in Coffeyville on Dec. 18, 2012. Residents of the home were gathered outside, but after questioning them, Gilfillan found that one was unaccounted for.
“The fire department had not arrived to the burning home yet, and the family had gotten out but remembered a brother stayed the night,” Gilfillan said.
Gilfillan refused to allow family members to go back into the house and risked his own life instead by entering the burning building. He found the remaining resident sleeping in a bedroom and was able to escort him safely outside.
Gilfillan said it is an honor to be recognized by his tribe.
"People who know Steve Gilfillan are not surprised at this act of bravery,” said Tribal Councilor Chuck Hoskin Jr., of Vinita. “Steve reflects the best qualities of a Cherokee citizen, and we commend him."
The Cherokee Nation Medal of Patriotism is awarded to citizens who embody and demonstrate the Cherokee spirit through their service and looking out for others in the community. Gilfillan was honored at the Cherokee Nation June 10 Tribal Council meeting. His actions also earned him the Medal of Valor from the Coffeyville Police Department.
Cherokee Nation News Release
Julie Hubbard - 918-207-3896
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