While waiting for his meal in a fast-food restaurant drive-through, Licensed Vocational Nurse Moses Chasimba spotted something amiss and ended up helping save an off-duty police officer. While on his way to Morrow Bay, the Avenal State Prison employee stopped in Kettleman City to grab a bite to eat, which proved to be a lifesaving moment.
While transporting inmates, a bus crew were the first to arrive at the scene of a single-vehicle accident. The victim, pinned inside the vehicle, was saved thanks to the quick actions of the CDCR staff. On April 26, 2018, while transporting 13 inmates on Highway 26, the Statewide Transportation Unit (STU) Northern Transportation Hub bus crew – Sgt. John Arthur and Officers Ronald Moore and Mario Perez – came upon a serious vehicle accident that had just occurred. Emergency services had yet to arrive.
An off-duty correctional officer on a night drive with his family had to quickly act when they were confronted by a gun-waving motorist. Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP) Correctional Officer Hector Villarreal and his family were driving through Kerman on Jan. 8 when a Chevrolet Silverado pulled alongside, the other driver brandishing a black semi-automatic firearm at the officer and his family. Officer Villarreal shouted for his family to get down in their seats as he made several attempts to steer away from the other vehicle. The gunman pursued. Then Officer Villareal took action to save his family and the lives of other citizens.
A parole agent and correctional counselor, both on their way home from work, came across a vehicle partially submerged in a shallow lake near the freeway. They stopped to render assistance to the victim until emergency medical services could arrive.
What started as a normal work day for Calipatria State Prison (CAL) Correctional Officer Juan Galvan quickly turned into a life-or-death situation. On Friday, Feb. 2, Officer Galvan, while working as Floor Officer #1 on Facility B, Housing Unit 5, at CAL, responded to a call of “man down” in one of the cells. Officer Galvan found an inmate on the ground, unresponsive. Responding Officer Robert Gonzalez immediately assisted Officer Galvan, and took over providing chest compressions.
Since its inception, some employees of the state prison system have gone above and beyond the normal call of duty to help those in need. In this installment of Unlocking History, we explore the stories of three of those employees going back to 1908.