MHP's Amanda Villa receives national award for bravery


Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Amanda Villa received an honorable mention award Thursday from the National Association of Police Organizations for her bravery during a 2021 incident in which she pulled four people from a state helicopter that had landed hard, crashed and started to burn.

The award ceremony, the 29th annual TOP COPS Awards, was held in Washington, D.C. and was held in conjunction with National Police Week. MHP Col. Steve Lavin and Lt. Col. Jason Hildenstab joined Villa at the ceremony.

Villa, a Helena native, is stationed with the trooper detachment in Helena.

On June 15, 2021, a Department of Natural Resources and Conservation helicopter landed hard in front of Villa and crashed from the strong winds during the Deep Creek Canyon fire in Broadwater County. She jumped out of her squad car, tried to call by radio for more help, and ran toward the helicopter that was starting on fire, officials said. She climbed under the helicopter and pulled four passengers to safety.

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