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Risking a lot to save a lot: Brian Busby gets Medal of Valor | Slideshow

Snoqualmie firefighter and Valley homeless advocate Brian Busby received the city’s highest safety honor, the Medal of Valor, March 25. Busby played the key role in a February 1 rescue of a woman who came within moments of drowning in the frigid waters of the Snoqualmie River.

Off duty, Busby was near the Snoqualmie River’s South Fork when he learned that the woman had slipped and fallen into the river’s icy waters while trying to cross near North Bend. He made the quick decision to reach her, keeping her head above water until additional help arrived.  His own legs going numb, Busby could tell that the woman’s situation was dire.

King County Sheriff’s deputies provided timely assistance, with one officer hanging onto Busby as he perched on a job, keeping her from going under.

“We have a saying,” says Busby. “’You risk a little to save a little; you risk a lot to save a lot.’

“And to me, that gal hanging there was a lot,” Busby added.

Snoqualmie Fire Chief Bob Rowe said that without Busby’s actions, he had “no doubt the river would have taken another life” that February day.

Busby was honored by a full complement of city firefighters in front of the Snoqualmie City Council on Monday, March 25.

“It gives me great honor to have Brian as a Snoqualmie employee,” said City Administrator Bob Larson, in a statement. “His actions are a testimony to his outstanding character and dedication to serving the community.”

Busby was named 'Best Firefighter' in the Best of the Valley 2013 reader poll.

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