LITTLE CANADA - An off-duty Sheriff’s Deputy who responded to the Minnehaha Academy explosion – was honored Thursday by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department.

Deputy Paul Meskan received the Class A Medal of Valor. The off-duty deputy said working in his yard the day of the Minnehaha Academy explosion. He was recognized for not hesitating to move toward the damage to search for the injured and make sure others were led to safety.

With the help of an unknown good Samaritan, Meskan pulled Bryan Duffey from the rubble.

Duffey, the assistant soccer coach at the school, is still recovering from his injuries. An explosion at the school in August killed two people and heavily damaged the building.

“I wish we could’ve gotten the other two but it didn’t work out like that. I really hope that we can find the guy that came and assisted. Without his assistance right away things might have been different,” Deputy Meskan said. “He stepped forward. First responders, that is what you are supposed to do. That citizen came forward on his own and he is a hero.”

The Class A Medal of Valor, which recognizes bravery, is one the highest honors public safety officers in the United States can receive.