Four workers with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) have received the 2017 Governor’s State Employee Medal of Valor Award.
The awards, first presented in 1959, are given to state employees “for displaying bravery, courage and selflessness in the face of danger.” Nearly 600 state employees have been presented the award.
The four employees, listed below, were presented with the Special Service Award (Silver) for “an act of heroism by a state employee extending above and beyond the normal call of duty or service performed at personal risk to his or her safety to save human life or state property.”
Caltrans Alturas Maintenance Shop Leadworker Dean Rouse
Rouse earned his award for “jumping into the swift-moving Pit River in California’s northeastern 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
Anderson received his 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
Myers picked up his award for helping Anderson when he grabbed Anderson’s belt as “Anderson and other rescuers were slipping downstream into the current.”
Caltrans Maintenance Supervisor Rodney Walker
Walker earned his 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.”
“These men are true heroes,” says 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.”