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Pasborg receives Sheriff’s Commendation for heroic acts in Wyoming house fire

Ryan Pasborg and his son. Pasborg rescued a family in James Town, Wyoming from a house fire this spring. (Photo courtesy Ryan Pasborg via Sweetwater County Sheriff's Office)

Olivia Kennah – SweetwaterNOW May 17, 2022

SWEETWATER COUNTY — The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office recognized Ryan Pasborg with the Sheriff’s Commendation during Tuesday’s Sweetwater County Commission meeting.

Pasborg was recognized for his selfless service when saving the Wadsworth family from their burning home in Jamestown in February. Sheriff John Grossnickle said Pasborg was driving down the highway, “late for work. There’s small miracles everywhere in the world.”

He noticed the smoke and the house that had erupted into flames and took it upon himself to go to the house to see if he could help.

“Mr. Pasborg took it upon himself to enter the driveway where he was met by three of the Wadsworth children, they were outside the house, who informed him that one of their siblings and their mother was still inside the burning building. Without hesitation, Ryan entered the house, had to crawl because of the smoke,” Sheriff Grossnickle said. “He came upon the one sibling in the hallway, was able to extract that sibling. The temperatures were well below zero, he was able to rush the children into his vehicle to keep them warm and then entered the burning residence and attempted to rescue Ms. Wadsworth.” 

When he got Wadsworth out of the home, he realized she was unresponsive. At that time, he provided emergency medical procedures, and was able to resuscitate her. He then put her in the vehicle and met emergency medical personnel on the road.

Grossnickle said Pasborg’s service didn’t stop there, as he later went to a local retail store and purchased clothes for the kids to wear.

At the Sheriff’s Office, we sign up to do a job and we don’t like a lot of recognition but when you have someone from the community that does this, we believe that they should be held in a special spot because of that.

~ Sheriff John Grossnickle

Therefore, Grossnickle said it is the Sheriff’s Office’s honor to award Pasborg with the Sheriff’s Commendation “in recognition of this sense of community and selfless sacrifice in risking his own life to save the lives of others.”

“It’s not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost,” Sheriff Grossnickle said.

Pasborg said although he appreciates the honor, he didn’t help the Wadsworth family for recognition. He simply saw a family in trouble and did what he could.

When I did this I didn’t really understand the recognition that was gonna come with this, this is not what I was looking for. I had three little kids looking at me and there was no time to think, just act.

~ Ryan Pasborg

“I just did what I hope someone would do for me or somebody else in the same shoes,” he added.

The Commission thanked Pasborg for his selfless heroic actions, saying that it’s people like him who make Sweetwater County a great place.

“You represent what Sweetwater County and the people here are all about, just doing the right thing at the right time, and we really appreciate that. Thank you,” Chairman Jeff Smith said.

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