VCFD Honors Lifesaving Efforts And Excellent Public Service

CAMARILLO, Calif. – The Ventura County Fire Department honored 17 people Thursday, Feb. 10, for lifesaving service to county residents as part of the 26th Annual VCFD Awards, which also recognized firefighters and employees of the year for the agency.

“Each of these people has gone above and beyond in their service to our community,” Fire Chief Dustin Gardner said. “We are honored by their selfless dedication to care for others.”

Firefighter Mike Fuller received the Medal of Meritorious Service for saving a 10-year-old girl who was threatening to jump from the Casa Pacifica Building in Camarillo, Feb. 22, 2021. The girl was sitting on the edge of the roof, announced that she was going to jump at the count of 10, rotated her body and started counting.

Fuller, who had positioned himself on an aerial ladder just below the roofline on the side of the building about 50 feet from the girl. By the time the girl counted to seven, Fuller had rushed across the roof and grabbed the girl. They rolled down the roof with the girl fighting him until they stopped about halfway down. The girl was taken to a hospital for treatment of scratches and a psychological evaluation.

Senior Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy Lee Chapman was awarded a Lifesaving Award Medal and his daughters, Abbey, 8, and Taylor, 11, received Lifesaving Citation Medals for saving wife and mom Bonnie Chapman on January 24, 2021.

Firefighter Paramedic Chris Gaskins was awarded a Lifesaving Award Medal for rushing to the aid of a neighbor’s son while off duty September 13, 2021 and performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation until paramedics could arrive.

Captain Bob Schuett and Firefighter Christian Quagliata received Lifesaving Award Medals for pulling an intoxicated juvenile off the roof of the 99 Cent Store in Camarillo on March 18, 2020, after she had been throwing concrete roof tiles at people below and threatening to jump. Certificates of Recognition were awarded in relation to that incident to Firefighters Derek Hawthorne, Kimo Ukauka, Jose Ramirez, Ryan Resnick, Ryan Coccia, Cory Gropp and Chad Meehan, as well as Battalion Chief Michael Weisenberg. Certificates of Appreciation were awarded to Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputies Frank Corona and Christopher Riggs.

Other winners:

  • Firefighter of the Year, Battalion 1: Cameron Louis
  • Firefighter of the Year, Battalion 2: Raul Garcia
  • Firefighter of the Year, Battalion 3: Kevin Lundgren
  • Firefighter of the Year, Battalion 4: Jesus “Chuy” Perez
  • Firefighter of the Year, Battalion 5: Sam Walters
  • Company of the Year: Patrol 16 – Damon Dalton and Jon Jelle.
  • Wildland/Aviation Unit Employee of the Year: Ryan Matheson
  • Administrative Services Bureau Employee of the Year: Velinda Trujillo
  • Fire Prevention Employee of the Year: Nick Resendes
  • Business Services Bureau Employee of the Year: Elena Velasquez
  • Fire Communications Center Dispatcher of the Year: Katie Farber
  • Support Services Bureau Employee of the Year: Sean Premo
  • Community Education Employee of the Year: Crystal Stratton
  • Volunteer of the Year: Frank Huchingson

Watch the awards video at https://vimeo.com/675960648

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