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2008 Medal of Valor Awards
The Medal of Valor is the highest honor that California bestows on its public servants. It 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.
The 2008 Medal of Valor ceremony was held on December 9 at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento. The Governor presented Medals of Valor to employees from six different state departments. Fourteen Caltrans employees received Medals of Valor.
"The men and women who devote their professional lives to serve California and its citizens often do so under very challenging circumstances," said Governor Schwarzenegger at the ceremony. "Many individuals recognized today have shown the kind of courage and bravery that has always marked their professions, but some are employees who aren't accustomed to hazardous duty on the job. The heroic acts of these individuals clearly show that when faced with adversity, they're ready to respond regardless of the personal risks. I am extremely proud and honored to present these medals today."
The following Caltrans employees received Medals of Valor from the Governor:
Arturo Arzaga and Eric L. Perkins, of Riverside, Silver Award: On February 25, 2007, rescued a trapped highway cleaning crew member from an overturned van.
Dave McDaniel, Michael Blake, John W. Kearns Jr., Leonard Marsh, Scot McKinney (not pictured) and Kyle Robert Gaspard of Pine Grove, Silver Award: On August 9, 2007, saved lives and property by containing a wildfire.
Alan L. Companey and Shawn Daniel Hussey, of Oakland, Silver Award: On June 18, 2008, helped to rescue a suicidal man from jumping off a bridge.
Brett A. Gronemeyer and Brandon Dean Larsen, of Eureka, Silver Award: On August 7, 2008, helped rescue an injured female motorcyclist from a steep mountainside.
Robert L. Immoos, of Soda Springs, Gold Award: On April 8, 2008, intercepted a disoriented, wrong-way driver from a possible head-on collision, injury and death.
Gregory A. Linden, of San Jose, Gold Award: On June 14, 2008, saved a coworker's life by pushing aside a falling 300-pound pole.
After the Medal of Valor Ceremony the heroes were honored at the Governor’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting. Ornaments with each awardee’s name were placed on the tree as the Governor declared it the “Tree of Heroes” and dedicated it to the Medal of Valor awardees.
Full video of the ceremony and the Governor’s speech can be found on the Governor’s website: http://gov.ca.gov/index.php?/press-release/11208/