The San Benito County Sheriff’s Office has recently instituted a policy and process for recognizing employees for exemplary and heroic work.
The medals available for award are:
• MEDAL OF HONOR
• MEDAL OF VALOR
• EXCEPTIONAL DUTY MEDAL
• LIFESAVING MEDAL
• PURPLE HEART
The San Benito County Sheriff’s Office awarded the following medals:
LIFESAVING MEDAL to Deputy Cody Diller and Deputy Matthew Creager.
The Medal for Lifesaving is awarded to office members or members of another law enforcement agency who personally perform acts that save human lives. The acts need not be performed under conditions requiring bravery or exposure to great personal risk. To be considered, the person having been saved need not sustain life in the long term, but by the deliberate act of the office member, must have been prevented from dying at the time and place that the act or aid was performed.
On June 5, 2015 at approximately 7:30 a.m., Deputies Diller and Creager were dispatched to a possible trespass on Wright Road. Upon their arrival, they met with the reporting party who said a male had been trespassing on the property and was acting strange. The male was not known to the resident. Deputy Diller and Deputy Creager began a methodical search of the property. During the search, the deputies located a male who had “hung” himself from a tree with a rope around his neck. As the deputies approached the male, he was convulsing and was gasping for air.
Deputies Diller and Creager took control of the male and freed him from the noose. He was treated on scene and transported to the hospital. During the course of the investigation it was learned the male was attempting to end his life. He was transferred to a bay area trauma center where he was treated for his medical and psychological conditions.
It was the attention to duty and quick lifesaving efforts on the part of Deputy Diller and Deputy Creager that resulted in the male’s life being saved. He was then able to receive the care he needed.
EXCEPTIONAL DUTY MEDAL to Sergeant Michael Mull and Deputy Victor Casada.
The Exceptional Duty Medal is given to office members or members of another law enforcement agency who for a highly creditable accomplishment or act in the line of duty that brings public acclaim to their self, their department, or the Law Enforcement Profession. These acts can be any one of the following but are not limited to;
1. Acts of bravery during the performance of duties;
2. Service with distinction under extraordinary circumstances during a major emergency, event, or special operation;
3. Other exceptional service to the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office.
On Jan. 11, Deputy Mull and Deputy Casada responded to Lovers Lane during a major flood incident. At 2 a.m., four people became trapped, inside their vehicle, with flood water rapidly rising around them. Two of the occupants were children. Once on scene, Sergeant Mull and Deputy Casada stripped off their “duty gear” and climbed onto the “running boards” of Cal Fire Truck 1681. While en route to the stranded truck, Sergeant Mull climbed into the passenger seat of the fire truck while Deputy Casada stayed on the running boards. Once they were near the truck and trapped family, Deputy Casada attempted to reach the children who were now on the roof of the truck, and the adults in the bed, as the waters were rising quickly. By this time the water had reached the windshield of the truck.
Unable to reach the children, and without any swift-water rescue training, Deputy Casada jumped into the water and swam to the truck. He retrieved the children and passed them to Sergeant Mull in the fire truck. Once the children were safe in the truck, Deputy Casada and Sergeant Mull transferred the adults and their two dogs to the safety of the fire truck. The Cal Fire crew then drove them out of the affected area to safety.
It was the quick thinking and selflessness of Sergeant Mull and Deputy Casada that led to the rescue of the family. Though there were class 1 and 2 rapids, deep floodwater and debris, Deputy Casada selflessly jumped in to the water without the proper equipment for a water rescue. Had Sergeant Mull not been there to assist in the transfer of the family, dogs and retrieval of Deputy Casada, this rescue would not have been successful.