The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation today awarded Medals of Valor during its 26th annual ceremony to five employees who exhibited extraordinary bravery and conduct in incidents where public safety was at risk. They received the Department’s highest award for heroism and courage beyond the normal demands of correctional service.
Correctional Sergeant Walter Scott Jandro, Central California Women’s Facility, Correctional Officers Hoyt Wayne Walker, Pelican Bay State Prison, and Daniel Fernandez, California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison at Corcoran, Youth Correctional Counselor David Michael Padore, Southern Youth Correctional Reception Center and Clinic, and Supervising Registered Nurse II Francisco L. Hernandez, North Kern State Prison, are the CDCR Medal of Valor recipients for actions taken in 2009. The awards were presented by CDCR Secretary Matthew L. Cate at a ceremony sponsored by the California Correctional Supervisors Organization. Some 50 employees received awards that ranged from the Medal of Valor to Unit Citation.
The Medal of Valor is earned by employees distinguishing themselves by conspicuous bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of correctional service. The employee shall display great courage in the face of immediate life-threatening peril and with full knowledge of the risk involved. The act should show professional judgment and not jeopardize operations or the lives of others.
The late Correctional Officer Hoyt Wayne Walker was honored posthumously for his heroism in trying to save his brother’s life as the pair fished on the rocks in Crescent City. His brother-in-law was suddenly washed off the rocks and into the ocean, and unable to get out of the water. Officer Walker jumped in the water in an attempt to save him. Tragically, both men perished. Walker’s widow, Jodi Walker, accepted the award.
Youth Correctional Officer David Michael Padore was honored for his fearlessness in the face of danger and possible death in the extrication and rescue of a man and his daughter from a burning vehicle. He pulled two victims to safety from a burning vehicle after it rolled end to end and burst into flames.
Correctional Officer Daniel Fernandez was honored for his selfless actions in the emergency room at Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia, where he assisted hospital security in immobilizing an apparently unstable woman who attempted to stab security staff with two long kitchen knives and threatened others in the area.
Correctional Sergeant Walter Scott Jandro was honored his efforts in rescuing two men whose small plane had just crashed. He located and turned off the fuel lines after highly volatile fuel leaked on and around the plane and its wreckage. He knowingly placed his own personal safety at risk by approaching a potentially explosive situation and ultimately providing care to the victims and assisting other rescuers.
Supervising Registered Nurse II Francisco L. Hernandez was honored for his fearlessness in responding to a police officer struggling with a prisoner for control of the officer’s duty weapon. Hernandez was working off-duty at a hospital’s emergency room when he responded to the threatening situation and attempted to subdue the prisoner by using physical strength and holds.
Also honored at today’s ceremony were Correctional Counselor Ronald J. Rock, Centinela State Prison, as the Correctional Peace Officer of the Year, and Correctional Lieutenant Gregory Bergersen, Valley State Prison for Women, as Correctional Supervisor of the Year.
Medal of Valor
Correctional Officer Hoyt Wayne Walker, Pelican Bay State Prison; Youth Correctional Counselor David Michael Padore, Southern Youth Correctional Reception Center and Clinic; Correctional Officer Daniel Fernandez, California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison at Corcoran; Correctional Sergeant Walter Scott Jandro, Central California Women’s Facility; Supervising Registered Nurse II Francisco L. Hernandez, North Kern State Prison
Gold Star Medal
The Corrections Star (Gold) medal is the Department’s second highest award for heroic deeds under extraordinary circumstances. The employee shall display courage in the face of immediate peril in acting to save the life of another person.
Parole Agents Jenaro J. Carrasco and Anthony Maes, Division of Adult Parole Operations, Region IV; Correctional Officer Brian Chord, Folsom State Prison
Silver Star Medal
The Corrections Star (Silver) medal is the Department’s third highest award for acts of bravery under extraordinary or unusual circumstances. The employee shall display courage in the face of potential peril while saving or attempting to save the life of another person or distinguish himself or herself by performing in stressful situations with exceptional tactics or judgment.
Correctional Officers Caesar Alcantara Sr., Felicia J. Hewitt, Christopher D. Reyes, Leonardo Serrano, and Ray T. Ynostroza, Ironwood State Prison; Facility Captain Sharon E. Henry, Correctional Lieutenant Timothy G. Ellis, Correctional Officers Gabriel Romo, Herman H. Valdivia, Lonnie Mack Elliott, and Rebecca Rutledge, Sierra Conservation Center; Correctional Officers Jorge S. Fernandez, Richard Ortiz Jr., Tony Reyna, and Illich B. Sanchez, Kern Valley State Prison; Correctional Officers Manuel T. Parra and Joseph N. Vicente, California Rehabilitation Center; Correctional Officers Robert M. Rodriguez and Douglas George Stever, Folsom State Prison; Correctional Officers Ernest F. Johnson and Jeremy J. Viles, California State Prison, Sacramento; Correctional Sergeant John Paul Popplewell, Correctional Training Facility; and Correctional Sergeants Anthony M. Murphy and Grant E. Parker, Office of Correctional Safety.
Bronze Star Medal
The Corrections Star (Bronze) is the Department’s award for saving a life without placing oneself in peril. The employee shall have used proper training and tactics in a professional manner to save, or clearly contribute to saving, the life of another person.
Correctional Lieutenant Kenneth A. Clendenin, Mule Creek State Prison; Correctional Sergeant Mark Garcia, California Institution for Men; Correctional Officer Marty Lewis, Avenal State Prison; Correctional Lieutenant Jackie Jeter, Wasco State Prison; and Correctional Counselor I Cubby Munerlyn.
Distinguished Service Medal
The Distinguished Service Medal is for an employee’s exemplary work conduct with the Department for a period of months or years, or involvement in a specific assignment of unusual benefit to the Department.
Correctional Lieutenant William G. Bean, Correctional Sergeants Daniel R. Fairchild and Juan R. Ruiz, California Rehabilitation Center; Special Agent Steve Contreras; and Maintenance Mechanics Nghia T. Luu and Eldon N. Wassell, California Institution for Women.
The Unit Citation is for great courage displayed by a departmental unit in the course of conducting an operation in the face of immediate life-threatening circumstances.
Administrator Alan D. Caron, Staff Services Analysts Jamie E. Halford, Lori J. Nicol, Promotional Specialists Lisa M. Lewis and Donna M. Orth, Prison Industry Authority.
CDCR Correctional Peace Officer of the Year
Correctional Counselor I Ronald J. Rock, Centinela State Prison
CDCR Correctional Supervisor of the Year
Correctional Lieutenant Gregory Bergersen, Valley State Prison for Women
To watch the video of the Ceremony.. click here: MOV Ceremony Video On Demand