Four California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) employees who showed courage in the face of danger have been presented with the Governor’s State Employee Medal of Valor Award.
“These men are true heroes,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “Every day our maintenance employees risk their lives to perform their duties but these men didn’t think twice about diving into action to save others.”
Caltrans Alturas Maintenance Shop Leadworker Dean Rouse earned his Governor’s State Employee Silver Medal of Valor Award for jumping into the swift-moving Pit River in California’s north-eastern corner in Modoc County on Dec. 20, 2015. Rouse helped remove a female passenger out of a vehicle that had slid off U.S. Highway 395 and landed upside down. He also helped carry her up a steep embankment to paramedics who treated her for a heart attack.
Whitmore Maintenance Equipment Operator II James Anderson earned his Silver Medal of Valor Award for responding to an emergency dispatch call on Jan. 29, 2016. Anderson jumped into an icy fast-flowing creek to aid the rescue of a woman trapped in a pickup truck that had rolled off Interstate 80 in the Sierra, landing upside down in the water.
Caltrans Equipment Operator II Kenneth Myers earned his Governor’s Silver Medal of Valor Award for grabbing Anderson’s belt as Anderson and other rescuers were slipping downstream into the current.
Caltrans Maintenance Supervisor Rodney Walker earned his Silver Medal of Valor Award for relieving the soaked, frozen and exhausted men who extracted the woman from the truck. He helped get her out of the water and carried her up the steep, slippery embankment to safety.
The State Employee Medal of Valor Award is the highest honor California bestows on its public servants. Governor Edmund G. Brown Sr. presented the first awards in 1959. Since then, nearly 600 state employees have earned that honor for displaying bravery, courage and selflessness in the face of danger.