(Photos by LACoFD Photographer Douglas Morrison feature Medal of Valor recipients: Fire Captain Michael Keehmer • Fire Captain Arnoldo Sandoval • Fire Fighter Jim Sparkman • Fire Fighter Jorge Gonzalez • Rodolfo Saavedra)
On Friday, April 29, the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) hosted its 2022 Valor Awards Ceremony to honor the courageous and exemplary actions of Department personnel. The ceremony took place at the Mayne Events Center, which houses the Department’s Fire Museum, in the City of Bellflower.
This year, over 100 individuals were honored in the following five categories: Letter of Commendation, Exemplary Service Award, Unit Citation, Certificate of Valor, and Medal of Valor.
As the highest honor of all, the prestigious Medal of Valor was presented to five individuals for their bravery in two different life-saving incidents:
Toddler Fire Rescue: In December 2021, Fire Captain Michael Keehmer and Fire Fighter Jorge Gonzalez used their skills and senses to find and rescue a sleeping toddler trapped in a burning home.
Saving Their Own: In June 2021, a shooting at Fire Station 81 led to valiant and selfless acts as Fire Captain Arnoldo Sandoval, Fire Fighter Jim Sparkman, and Senior Fire Equipment Mechanic Rodolfo Saavedra intervened to render aid and save fellow team members.
The Department appreciates the Los Angeles County Fire Foundation, Association of Chiefs, F&A Federal Credit Union, and the LA County Fire Museum for their support of this year’s in-person ceremony; the first since the COVID-19 pandemic began two years ago.
Congratulations to the following Valor Awards recipients!
Medal of Valor
Fire Captain Michael Keehmer • Fire Captain Arnoldo Sandoval • Fire Fighter Jim Sparkman • Fire Fighter Jorge Gonzalez • Rodolfo Saavedra
Certificate of Valor
Fire Captain Michael Park • Sheriff’s Deputy Armando Ibarra Aleman
Battalion Chief Martin Maher • Fire Captain Dave Gillotte • Fire Captain Mark McCurdy • Fire Captain Danny Olivas • Fire Captain Keith Stires • Fire Fighter Specialist Josh Diaz • Fire Fighter Specialist Matt Fiori • Fire Fighter Specialist Anthony Huynh • Fire Fighter Specialist Lande Knott • Fire Fighter Specialist Kelly Langston • Fire Fighter Specialist John Thomas • Fire Fighter Nathan Cook • Fire Fighter Michael Ertel • Fire Fighter James Fregosi • Fire Fighter Andrew Green • Fire Fighter Erik Gunn • Fire Fighter Steven Handy • Fire Fighter Francisco Lomeli • Fire Fighter Richard Nelson • Fire Fighter Brian Nielsen • Fire Fighter Armando Ramirez • Fire Fighter Romeo Robles • Fire Fighter Adrian Villarreal
Certificate of Commendation
Deputy Fire Chief Dennis Breshears • Deputy Fire Chief Anderson Mackey, Jr. • Deputy Fire Chief Jon O’Brien • Fire Captain Richard Atwood • Battalion Chief Erich Goetz • Battalion Chief Brian Kane • Battalion Chief Dustin Robertson • Battalion Chief Bryan Wells • Fire Captain Grant Grunbaum • Fire Captain Andrew Hill • Fire Captain Heather Hogelund • Fire Captain Quintin Humphrey • Fire Captain Alex Linton • Fire Captain Michael Loput • Fire Captain Terry Millsaps • Fire Captain Philip Muller • Fire Captain Adrian Murrieta • Fire Captain Adrian Reyes • Fire Captain Roberto Ruiz • Fire Captain Brett Rusling • Fire Captain Victor Torres • Fire Captain Keith Wieczorek • Fire Fighter Specialist Arthur Doyle • Fire Fighter Gustavo Aguirre • Fire Fighter Jim Cermak • Fire Fighter Howard Ferguson • Fire Fighter Mitchell Orsatt • Fire Fighter Robert Reinhold • Fire Fighter Keven Sleight • Fire Fighter Steve Weston • Fire Fighter Daniel Zimmerman • Landon Jensen • Robert Markham III • Matt Olson • Travis Wight • Health Programs Office
Exemplary Service Award
Battalion Chief Steven Bartram • Battalion Chief Travon Espy • Battalion Chief Victor Garcia • Fire Captain Chad Christensen • Fire Captain Henry Flores • Fire Captain Lyle Koegler • Fire Captain David Laub • Fire Captain Kenneth Lee • Fire Captain Michael Richey • Fire Fighter Specialist Mishel Harteni • Fire Fighter Specialist Jeffrey James • Fire Fighter Specialist Timothy McIntyre • Fire Fighter Specialist Manny Urquiza • Fire Fighter Specialist Bradley Wolfenstein • Fire Fighter Bryan Andrews • Fire Fighter Jeremy Beau • Fire Fighter Steven Bejarno • Fire Fighter Eric Bourassa • Fire Fighter Ronnie Evans • Fire Fighter Thad Ewing • Fire Fighter James Ferguson • Fire Fighter John Hilsabeck • Fire Fighter Corey Martin • Fire Fighter Michael Nusbaum • Fire Fighter Gabriel Santa Cruz De Oviedo • Fire Fighter Eric Shiroishi • Dr. Saman Kashani • Dolores Acevedo • Briana Chavez • Robert Clark • Kaelyn Floyd • Angel Fry • Ilda Gates • Larry Kempton • Julia Kim • Keri Kiss • Edith Lai • Benjamin Lueck • Tyesha McKeever • Heidi Oliva • Dean Omvig • Vanessa Sandoval • Zuleyda Santana-Reyes • Christopher Siverson • Delbra Smith • Leticia Rivera-Solis • Dave Sterling • Jenny Tam • Peter Wallace • Lilia Velazquez • Karen Zarsadiaz-Ige