CAL FIRE Firefighters receive Medal of Valor from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
The Medal of Valor is the highest honor that California bestows upon its public servants.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger awarded the distinguished Governor's Medal of Valor to 17 CAL FIRE employees for acting above and beyond the call of duty. The firefighters received the Medal of Valor, the highest honor that California bestows upon its public servants, as part of a ceremony recognizing 38 state employees.
"The men and women we are honoring today have all demonstrated extraordinary courage and risked their safety, and even their lives, without hesitation to save another," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "On behalf of all Californians, I extend our gratitude and appreciation for their selfless service."
"These individuals represent the high caliber of men and women we have working for CAL FIRE," said Chief Ken Pimlott, acting director of CAL FIRE. "I take great pride knowing they responded above and beyond the call of duty, upholding the most sacred principle of this honorable profession in risking their lives to try to save others."
Ron Eldridge of Auberry and Craig Tolmie of Prather
Chief Tolmie was positioned behind a vehicle parked directly in front of the suspect's residence when he heard a Deputy call out for a bandoleer of shotgun ammunition that was located inside a patrol car. At great risk to himself, Tolmie left his position of cover to retrieve the bandoleer and another shotgun, and delivered them to the Deputy.
Alfredo Danny Suarez of Atwater
Frank Abril of Hemet, Eric Connolly of Riverside, Adam Ricketts of Carlsbad, Dave Deleon of Los Angeles, Antonio Medina of Delano, Chuck Santone of Canyon Lake
Rickey Lee Gibble of Reedly, Steven Wayne Blythe, Jr of Newman, Kyle Joseph Efflandt of Santa Clarita, Ryan John Hollowell of Sacramento
Rhett Imperiale of Hydesville, Kurt Mccray of McKinleyville, Len Nielson of Fortuna, Mark Rodgers of Loleta
When CAL FIRE Foresters Kurt Mccray and Len Nielson, and Fire Captain Specialist Mark Rodgers arrived at the scene of the accident, they had to act fast due to the seriousness of the victim's injuries and the potential danger of the oil leak. They descended the dangerously steep slopes and used their own bodies to protect the victims and other rescue personnel from falling and rolling rocks. It took approximately 2 hours to secure the patients and move them up to the highway.
The Medal of Valor, which started in 1959, is the highest honor that California bestows on its public servants and is awarded to California state employees who have performed an extraordinary act of heroism above and beyond the normal call of duty, at great risk to their own personal safety or life, to save the life of another.
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