Officer Jon Ortmann of the Cape Girardeau Police Department has only been on the force for a year and a half. You would have never known that June 28th when he averted what could have been a major tragedy at the corner of West End Boulevard and Southern Expressway. KZIM KSIM’s Faune Riggin witnessed what Ortmann describes as routine, yet was much more than that. A fiberglass car had burst into flames. The occupants were attempting to stomp out the fire after the hood landed in a ditch of dried grass. Ortmann called for back-up after he made sure everyone was out of the car safely and quickly, yet calmly, grabbed his fire extinguisher and went to work. He tells KZIM KSIM they are so well trained this was all in a day’s work… He says in his profession they see all kinds of things and have to teach themselves how to handle it all. He had never used a fire extinguisher on a grass fire but had to try. It worked! He says he is trained to stay calm when others do not and says it felt good to stop a potential tragedy even if no one would have seen it happen. He says he is happy the police department is so proactive in Cape - they respond quickly and have each others backs in an emergency. That includes EMTs and the Fire department. As benign as this may sound, had Ortmann not reacted so quickly the Shawnee Park Center, a line of trees, and the entire softball complex filled with thousands of people could have gone up like a tinder box. With record breaking drought conditions and the temperature over 100 degrees that day we saw Ortmann do something spectacular. And we thought you should know.
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