SOURCE: California State Firefighters' Association

California State Firefighters' Association

October 14, 2010 19:58 ET

Sacramento Medal of Valor Awards Ceremony to Honor Heroes From Throughout the State -- Both Civilian and Professional First Responders

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - October 14, 2010) -  On Friday, October 15, 2010, California State Firefighters' Association (CSFA) will recognize firefighters, peace officers and civilians from throughout the state who have exhibited great courage in order to save the life of another. CSFA will present these heroes with the prestigious CSFA Medal of Valor at a dinner banquet at the Capitol Plaza Holiday Inn, 300 J Street in Sacramento. Assembly Member Kevin Jeffries (R - Lake Elsinore), a former firefighter, will act as Master of Ceremonies. Attending dignitaries, include California State Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover, Matthew Bettenhausen, Secretary of the California Emergency Management Agency, and police and fire chiefs.

"CSFA is proud to recognize those who have demonstrated extraordinary acts of bravery," noted CSFA President Kevin Nida. "These recipients, some of whom are not trained professionals, rose to the challenge, and facing dangerous situations, made split-second decisions to help another person."

About CSFA
Headquartered in Sacramento, California State Firefighters' Association, founded in 1922, is California's oldest statewide fire service trade association representing all facets of the California fire service with a variety of benefits. For more information visit


PROGRAM: Opening ceremony (featuring firefighter honor guard and bagpiper), welcoming remarks, dinner and presentation of awards. Assembly Member Kevin Jeffries will read a brief description of each heroic incident before the presentation of the Valor Medal (see next page for a list of recipients by geographic area).

VISUALS: Uniformed firefighters and police officers, firefighter honor guard and bagpiper, antique steamer fire engine and trained Dalmatian dog.

WHEN: 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, 2010.

WHERE: Capitol Plaza Holiday Inn, 300 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.

2010 CSFA Medal of Valor Award Recipients
(Ordered by geographic location of incident)

David Braga, civilian
Rescued a 2-year-old from a burning building

Officer Matthew Suehowicz
Sacramento Police Department
Officer Richard Kawasaki
Sacramento Police Department
Rescued trapped accident victim out of burning vehicle

David Ruhkala, civilian
Rescued a mauling victim from a pit bull

Officer Dawson Smith
Officer Brett Stenneth
Riverside Police Department
Entered a burning house to rescue a barricaded suspect overcome by smoke

Sergeant Robert Casas
Sergeant James Porter
Deputy Shaunna Ables
Deputy Adam Grimwold
Deputy Scott Andrews
San Bernardino Sheriff's Department
Dale Sandoval
San Bernardino Fire Department (Off Duty Fire Mechanic)
First Sergeant Billy Davidson
United States Marine Corps
Rescued 2 trapped accident victims out of burning vehicles

Firefighter Guillermo Garay
Engineer Graham Dunbar
Oxnard Fire Department
Rescued trapped accident victim seconds before Metrolink train hit the vehicle

Captain Tedmund Hall (posthumous)
Los Angeles County Fire Department
Arnaldo Quinones (posthumous)
Los Angeles County Fire Department
Died in the Line of Duty protecting fire camp personnel from approaching fire storm

Tom Allman
Mendocino County Sheriff's Department
Rescued trapped accident victim out of burning vehicle

Dustin Hammons, civilian
Del Norte County
Pulled elderly woman from burning motor home

Officer Rodney Richards
California Highway Patrol, Mt Shasta office
Officer Jason Smith
California Highway Patrol, Mt Shasta office
Perry Nitz, civilian
Edward Workman, civilian
Wynndel, BC, Canada
Rescued trapped accident victim out of burning vehicle

Steven King
Firefighter Orange County Fire Authority
Rescued elderly woman from a house fire (while off duty)

Officer Salvador Gutierrez
California Highway Patrol, Oceanside office
Rescued trapped accident victim out of burning vehicle

Officer Chad Sakamoto
Police Officer, National City Police Department
Rescued a driver from a burning vehicle

Samuel Armerding
Police Officer, Oakland Police Department
Rescued unconscious accident victim out of a burning vehicle

Contact Information

  • Contacts:
    Mike Esparza
    CSFA Valor PIO
    (951) 538-3293

    Gary Giacomo
    CSFA Staff
    (916) 410-1394