Heroes in the Community

Going above and beyond the call of duty is something that comes second-nature to Gannon University Police and Safety Officer Robert Glenn, who was recognized by Mayor Joseph E. Sinnott for his service alongside several Erie police officers, firefighters and first-responders.

Just three months into his job at Gannon, Glenn was the first on the scene of an alleged dispute turned house fire on Aug. 24. Around 4 a.m., the Erie Police Department dispatched to 355 W. Sixth St. About a block from the scene, patrolling campus residence halls, Glenn responded to the call.

Being the first on the scene, once he realized that the call became a fire, Glenn dispatched the Erie Fire Department. But he did not wait for the fire department's arrival to take action.

"I went into the front door and hollered to see if anyone was in the building," he said. "I've been in that situation before– you holler because you need to, but you're never expecting to hear anything back. But to me, it sounded like there were five voices responding at once."

By that time, two Erie police officers arrived on scene, one a former Gannon campus police and safety officer and the other a Gannon graduate. Together they attempted to rescue the trapped tenants upstairs, and with the assistance of the Emergicare responders who arrived at the seemingly perfect time, they were able to do so. They directed others who were trying to escape through the windows to the roof of a covered porch, where they scaled down the fire department's ladder to safety.

Because of his own past experience in junior firefighting training and EMT, Glenn thought nothing of acting outside his Gannon duties as a university police officer. Mayor Sinnott honored Glenn with a plaque recognizing him as first on the scene that early morning; but it was Glenn's quick action and response that was truly heroic.

"It was very humbling. It was great that Gannon was recognized for their own agency along with Erie's," said Glenn. "Everyone is out there doing the same job, it's just a different color patch on a sleeve."