Nine people of Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station received the department’s Life-Saving Award from Sheriff Leroy Baca on Aug. 3 for two separate incidents.
The first incident occurred on Feb. 7. Sergeant Tracy Stewart and Deputies Walls, Lucas Tapia, Chad Pluimmer, Juan Martinez, Joel Broumley and Al Barreras were dispatched to the debris basin behind the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station where an employee of the Department of Public Works had fallen into a sink hole and was immersed up to his waist in mud. This was the day after the Ocean View major debris flow. The listed personnel were able to make their way through this difficult portion of the debris basin. Unable to wait for a rescue helicopter, the deputies threw a rope to the man but discovered that they could not get close enough to pull him out without being sucked down into the mud themselves. Keeping tension on the rope to prevent the man from sinking further, the deputies wedged a log under a board and walked across to the man, pulling him to safety.
The second incident recognized with an award occurred on May 23.
Deputy Marcelo Ruiz (not pictured) and Reserve Deputy Fred Wenzel received the award for saving the life of a choking patron at a La Cañada Flintridge restaurant. Wenzel, a Reserve Deputy, was eating at the restaurant when a lady began to choke on a piece of food that had lodged in her throat. He performed the Heimlich maneuver and partially dislodged food. Deputy Ruiz simultaneously responded to the call for service, and by conducting a finger-sweep, fully dislodged the obstruction.