Above the Call: CDCR employee pulls children from car while sparks fly from power lines

By Lt. Katherine Cruz, AA/PIO
Pleasant Valley State Prison

On July 11, 2017 at approximately 7:45 p.m., Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP) Supervising Correctional Cook Carlos Rodriguez was headed home after his shift when he saw an SUV swerving back and forth across the road.

Carlos Rodriguez, a supervising correctional cook at Pleasant Valley State Prison, helped pull two young children from a wrecked vehicle.

He was driving on a long stretch of country road between Coalinga and Lemoore and the SUV’s erratic movement caught his attention. Sensing the driver had lost control of the vehicle and that an accident was imminent, he immediately called 911. The SUV made a sharp turn, taking down a power pole, causing the SUV to roll over once, coming to rest in an irrigation canal.

Without hesitation, Rodriguez pulled over and approached the vehicle as a woman was climbing out of the wreck with her small daughter.

Rodriguez told the woman help was on its way.  The woman informed him that there were two more children in the car.

Without thought for his own safety, he immediately went down into knee deep water of the canal to pull out the other children. The air-bags of the SUV were deployed which made it difficult to enter through the driver-side door.

“I noticed the power lines were starting to spark and knew I had to try and get the children out as soon as possible. I jumped into the canal, opened the back passenger door and pulled the two little girls out of their car seats and took them to safety,” he said.

Another responding motorist came to the scene of the accident and assisted in hoisting the little girls out of the canal. Once police and emergency medical assistance arrived, Rodriguez let them take over and continued on his journey home.

“We are proud of Carlos. His willingness to put himself into harm’s way in a potentially dangerous situation to render aid and safety to a mother and her children is an act of bravery and selflessness that should be applauded,” said PVSP Chief Deputy Warden Jonathan Buckley.

PVSP Warden Scott Frauenheim said, “Carlos’s actions are remarkable and truly brave.”

Rodriguez joined the Department in August 2006 as a Correctional Supervising Cook at Avenal State Prison. In October 2016, he promoted to a Supervising Correctional Cook at PVSP where he works in the Central Kitchen.


36 Responses

  1. carlos Friday, August 18, 2017 / 4:22 pm

    thanks for the comments everyone means a lot!! god bless!!

  2. L. MillerIsham Thursday, August 17, 2017 / 4:42 pm

    way to go Rod. Hope all is well over there miss you over here. lol

  3. Rose Wednesday, August 16, 2017 / 9:29 am

    You were not only a hero that day, Carlos, you were also a guardian angel!
    Who knows what could have happened to those two children if you hadn’t come along.
    You will always be a part of their life story and every time they tell it, they’ll say “and then this nice man with a beard pulled us out of the car and saved us!” YAY! 🙂

  4. DORA Monday, August 14, 2017 / 9:54 am

    You are awesome!!!!!

  5. O.Colunga Friday, August 11, 2017 / 1:44 pm

    What a great job!!!

  6. B. Sales Friday, August 11, 2017 / 8:54 am

    Awesome job Mr. Rodriguez! I applaud your heroic actions and your selflessness!

  7. joscelyn Lauren Thursday, August 10, 2017 / 9:03 am

    We need more people like you — BRAVE!

  8. Joseph Wednesday, August 9, 2017 / 8:45 pm

    Outstanding job

  9. Kristen Wednesday, August 9, 2017 / 9:38 am

    What a wonderfule story. Thank you for your courage and the humankindness you have shared.

  10. Lt. J. Nichols Wednesday, August 9, 2017 / 3:44 am

    In the face of danger you sacrifice your own safety and saved the lives of these young children. I applaud you.

  11. E. DUARTE JR. Tuesday, August 8, 2017 / 10:37 am

    An Absolute “HERO”

  12. Susanna Redfearn Tuesday, August 8, 2017 / 9:10 am

    Way to go Rod! Such a great guy. Glad I was fortunate to work beside you here at ASP before you promoted. Proud of you. You are definitely a hero.

  13. John Mendiboure Tuesday, August 8, 2017 / 6:33 am

    Awesome job Brother, proud to have worked with you!

  14. Andy Cota Monday, August 7, 2017 / 9:57 pm

    Carlos, you are commended on a job well done!

  15. Deanna Haskey Monday, August 7, 2017 / 3:02 pm

    Great Job Partner, you were there for the kids and mother, Thank you

  16. Vito Rosales Monday, August 7, 2017 / 12:50 pm

    were all put here for a reason and you answered the bell! great job my brother ” we don’t run from where we come from!”

  17. Mary Monday, August 7, 2017 / 12:48 pm

    You are an amazing human being. Great job Carlos!

  18. Luis Castillo Monday, August 7, 2017 / 12:29 pm

    Awesome job Carlos !

  19. N. ELACION Monday, August 7, 2017 / 11:34 am

    Awesome job Mr Rodriguez, godbless you.

  20. Isaiah R. Monday, August 7, 2017 / 11:05 am

    Good job!

  21. Sgt. J.Coake CIM Honor Guard Monday, August 7, 2017 / 10:55 am

    As a Father with Mini’s, these stories always hit home with me. What an Outstanding job risking your own life to assist and make sure those little girls were safe. I also know as a parent that Mommy will be forever Thankful of you. Job well done sir!!!!!!

  22. C.Vargas Monday, August 7, 2017 / 10:06 am

    Truly commendable! Thank you for answering the call for action.

  23. Laura Moonie Monday, August 7, 2017 / 9:42 am

    Nice job!

  24. Jose Padilla Monday, August 7, 2017 / 9:34 am

    Thank GOD for ANGELS. Awesome Job Carlos.

  25. Brian Paul Monday, August 7, 2017 / 9:21 am

    Thank God for courageous caring people like you. You are amazing!!!

  26. blanca Monday, August 7, 2017 / 8:57 am

    Awesome job Mr. Rodriguez! Thank you for your selflessness. Wish we still had more people like you who are willing to help in time of need.

  27. C/O Michael Hailey Monday, August 7, 2017 / 8:45 am

    You rock, Dude!! Just doing the right thing feels great doesn’t it?

  28. Diana Viale Monday, August 7, 2017 / 8:36 am

    Glad to have heroes such as yourself work on our side.

  29. Elizabeth Gillespie Monday, August 7, 2017 / 8:33 am

    Way to go Carlos you were definitely a hero that day!

  30. PoppaRod Monday, August 7, 2017 / 8:33 am

    Awesome and brave man you are Carlitos!!! Blessings and joy to you and all your loved ones….

  31. Jay Monday, August 7, 2017 / 8:32 am


  32. J. Alvara Monday, August 7, 2017 / 8:31 am

    Great job brother

  33. Yolanda Dorado Monday, August 7, 2017 / 8:31 am

    “You rock Carlos!!!!”

  34. Valerie Estrella Monday, August 7, 2017 / 8:30 am

    Good job and I am sure the woman is forever grateful!!

  35. Eric Anderson Monday, August 7, 2017 / 8:27 am

    Great Job Carlos! We need more people in this world like you!

  36. T. Brooks Monday, August 7, 2017 / 8:03 am

    Great Job! Glad you were in the right place at the right time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *