By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A Green River man was honored this week for his heroism after he saved a woman and her young son from a burning house in Sweetwater County earlier this year.
Ryan Pasborg saved Stephanie Wadsworth and her son, Weston Wadsworth, from their burning home in early February after he stopped when he saw their house was on fire. Despite being late for work, Pasborg felt compelled to stop when he saw the smoke and flames, he told Cowboy State Daily earlier this year.
Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Mower told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday that the recognition ceremony held in Pasborg’s honor on Tuesday was an amazing event.
“I’ve been in law enforcement almost 15 years and this is just one of those stories you see on television,” he said. “Really, this is just a small token of our appreciation and admiration for Ryan.”
Pasborg was recognized during the Sweetwater County Board of Commissioners’ second meeting of the month on Tuesday. His family and the Wadsworth family, along with a number of friends, were in attendance.
Having the Wadsworths attend the ceremony made it that much more special, Mower said. Shortly after the rescue, there was questions of whether Stephanie would survive the ordeal.
“As time went on and we heard through the grapevine about how she was hanging in there and beginning to improve and how she was likely to survive, we wanted to wait and hold this ceremony until they could all be in attendance, too,” Mower said.
Mower said the ceremony was emotional for everyone in attendance, from Sweetwater County Sheriff John Grossnickle to Pasborg himself and even the commissioners.
Pasborg has repeatedly insisted that he was not seeking recognition for rescue but Mower said it was important for Pasborg to be honored for his heroism.
“His motivation was that he hopes someone would do the same thing for him,” Mower said.
After saving the Wadsworths from the fire, he ensured the children were reunited with their grandmother and taken to a warm, safe place.
Following that, he went home, grabbed some money and went to Walmart to buy clothing and toys for the children who had just lost everything.
“What strikes me is that we can see the impact Ryan had on the Wadsworth family, but maybe Ryan needed to be there for Ryan, too,” Mower said. “This is something that may not only have saved the Wadsworths’ lives, but possibly, Ryan’s too.”
Pasborg did not immediately return Cowboy State Daily’s request for comment on Thursday.