Loudoun County, VA- Eighteen members of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) were among those recognized Friday at the 2019 Annual Valor Awards ceremony held at the National Conference Center in Lansdowne, Virginia. This year’s awards recognized the heroic actions of 62 individuals, including 19 citizens.
Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman and members of the LCSO leadership team and command staff were among the hundreds of community and business leaders in attendance today. “I am proud of the men and women of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, and all of the first responders and civilians honored today for their heroic actions and the lives they saved,” said Sheriff Chapman. “It’s wonderful to see the vital support network they have in their family and friends who attended today to honor them,” he added.
Among those recognized from the LCSO were Gerald Presson and Patrick Brick, who responded to a shooting in September 2018 at Algonkian Regional Park. After they arrived, they found the victim with two gunshot wounds to his legs and he was suffering severe blood loss. Deputy Presson made the decision to apply his issued tourniquet and secured it properly to the victim’s upper left leg. DFC Brick then applied his issued tourniquet to the victim’s right leg, with the assistance of Deputy Presson. With both tourniquets applied they were able to stop the blood loss and stabilize the victim until the arrival of rescue. A civilian witness, Kenneth Blount, assisted the deputies in providing additional first aid prior to the arrival of emergency rescue units. The victim was transported to the Reston Hospital Emergency Room where he received treatment and survived his wounds. For their actions, Deputies Presson and Brick received a Unit Citation Award and Mr. Blount received the Meritorious Civilian Award.
Deputy First Class Eric Cote and Deputy First Class Lim received the Lifesaving Award for their actions in July 2018 when they came to the aid of a man who stabbed himself. Upon arrival, DFC Lim observed the male near the area of Whitewater Drive and Longford Way in Sterling and engaged him in conversation. DFC Cote arrived soon after and observed an open puncture wound on the individual’s chest. The deputies used their Crisis Intervention skills and were able to approach the male to apply pressure and first aid to the wound until EMS personnel arrived. The male was transported to Reston Hospital where the hospital staff discovered the severity of the wound. When the male stabbed his chest, the knife pierced his lung and nicked the top layer of his heart. Throughout the situation, the deputies remained calm and through their compassionate understanding were able to maintain control during the situation which led to saving the man’s life.
Senior Deputy Nathan House was recognized with a Lifesaving Award for his efforts during a check the welfare call on Cannonade Drive in Leesburg in August 2018. SD House knocked on the front door but did not receive an answer. He then walked around the property when he heard a faint sound coming from the garage. SD House opened the garage door and observed the subject slumped over the steering wheel with the car running. The deputy entered the garage that was filled with fumes, pulled the male out of the vehicle, and turned off the car. The subject was transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The ingenuity and resourcefulness demonstrated by SD House were the determining factors in preventing a tragic outcome that day.
Also recognized with a Lifesaving Award was Master Deputy Daniel Martynowicz. He responded to Fairway Drive in Sterling in September 2018 for a report of a subject who was using a razor to attempt suicide. On the scene, the deputy observed the male inside his vehicle and so he initiated a conversation with the subject. After several minutes the male stepped out of the car and MD Martynowicz observed several lacerations to the subject’s arm. MD Martynowicz used his first aid kit and applied pressure to stop the bleeding while EMS responded. A short time later the deputy noticed the bleeding was not slowing down and he applied the LCSO issued tourniquet to the male’s arm which the trauma surgeon stated saved the male’s life. MD Martynowicz displayed exceptional patience, compassion, and empathy during the situation which led to the male to listen to and trust the deputy. Throughout the situation, the deputy remained calm and was able to get the male the mental health treatment he required.
Deputy First Class Mike Baker and three Loudoun County Public School employees were recognized for their efforts after a student attempted to take his own life. In October 2018, the student wrapped an electrical cord around his neck in school and would not release it. Ms. Nicole Bryan attempted to remove the cord but was unsuccessful. She called for DFC Baker, School Safety Officer Wayne Harrison, and Assistant Principal Jeremy Cortash to help. When the staff arrived seconds later, the juvenile’s face was blue and red, and his eyes were fluttering and appeared to be in and out of consciousness. As DFC Baker, Mr. Cortash, Mr. Harrison and Ms. Bryan attempted to remove the cord the student started fighting. The cord was finally removed and the student was unconscious and non-responsive for a few minutes. The juvenile was transported to the emergency room for treatment. These emergency responders and school professionals displayed resourcefulness in stressful conditions and impeccable teamwork throughout this challenging incident. For his efforts, DFC Baker received the Lifesaving Awards, and Ms. Bryan, Mr. Harrison, and Assistant Principal Cortash received the Meritorious Civilian Award.
Deputy Brady Mullis received the Lifesaving Award for his response to an unconscious male in Sterling in November 2018. Deputy Mullis utilized his training and moved into the position for CPR and commenced chest compressions and rescue breaths. Shortly after starting CPR, the male subject began to gasp for air. Deputy Mullis rolled the male subject into the recovery position and maintained contact until EMS arrived. This incident was an outstanding example of highly effective action by first responders acting simultaneously as law enforcement officers and rendering emergency first aid.
Deputy Tyler Bradley received the Lifesaving Award for his response to an unconscious male in Sterling in April 2018. Upon arriving, Deputy Bradley determined the subject did not have a pulse and was in dire need of medical attention. Deputy Bradley began CPR and continued until rescue units arrived. The deputy continued to assist Loudoun County EMS personnel with CPR and moving the subject into the ambulance. The quick and effective actions of Deputy Bradley and his knowledge of CPR undoubtedly helped save a life that day.
In June 2018, two off-duty LCSO Deputies, Natalie Martz and Chad Davis, were behind a vehicle that suddenly swerved against a curb and came to a stop in the middle of the road in Leesburg. They ran to provide aid and immediately realized the driver was barely breathing. They began to render care as 911 was activated. Very quickly, rescue personnel determined the citizen no longer had a pulse and the incident was upgraded to a cardiac arrest, bringing more units to the scene. The rescue crews worked together utilizing high-performance cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, multiple defibrillations and medications to resuscitate the patient. After several minutes, their efforts proved successful. The patient was transported to Inova Loudoun Hospital for treatment, where it was determined the patient had suffered a cardiac event nicknamed “the widow maker,” as it is known to have profoundly negative outcomes. As a testament to the quick actions of off duty local law enforcement officers and the training and actions of Loudoun County Fire & Rescue staff, the patient was later discharged from the hospital to return home in good condition. For their actions, Deputies Martz and Davis received the Lifesaving Award.
In February 2018, Deputy First Class Anne Ottosen observed a car stopped at a green light at the intersection of James Monroe Highway (Rt. 50) and Stone Springs Boulevard in Aldie. As the deputy illuminated her spotlight on the vehicle, she saw the driver was motionless. DFC Ottosen approached the driver’s side of the vehicle and found an unconscious male in the driver’s seat with his foot still on the gas pedal. Shortly after former Sergeant Eric Urbain and Deputy Randall Brown arrived, they recognized the dangers of the car being still in gear and the windows rolled up and doors locked. Sgt. Urbain and Dep. Brown positioned one cruiser in front of the car to prevent it from spontaneously moving forward into the intersection while DFC Ottosen then used her ax to break the passenger side rear window. DFC Ottosen reached inside to unlock the car and while she placed the vehicle in neutral, Deputies Urbain and Brown moved the driver to the ground. The driver had a faint pulse, but he was not breathing. Sgt. Urbain observed narcotics inside the vehicle and administrated Narcan. The male subject let out a large gasp and his pulse was a little stronger but he was still unconscious. The driver was then transferred to the care of Loudoun County EMS. For their actions, Deputies Ottosen, Brown and former Sgt. Urbain received the Certificate of Valor.
Deputy First Class Jennifer Carpenter, Master Deputy Nicholas Altom, and Deputy First Class Christopher Iversen received the Unit Citation for their efforts in response to a report of a suspicious vehicle in the area of Deidre Square in Ashburn in February 2018. The three deputies observed a male subject behind the wheel who appeared to be unconscious. In addition, the deputies observed drug paraphilia with white residue sitting on the armrest. When the deputies opened the car door they discovered that the driver was unresponsive. A dose of Narcan was administered by DFC Carpenter while the subject was in the front seat. The subject was still unresponsive so the deputies removed him from the car and onto the ground and MD Altom started CPR. The subject remained unresponsive. DFC Iversen then administrated a second dose of Narcan. After five and a half minutes of continued CPR and two doses of Narcan, the subject regained a pulse and was breathing on his own. The quick thinking and valiant actions of the involved deputies are the reason that the male is alive today.
Deputy Michael Matias received a Bronze Medal of Honor for his efforts involving a disabled vehicle in Fairfax County in December 2018. Deputy Matias was traveling to work on Fairfax County Parkway (Rt. 286) near Ox Road in his personal vehicle when he had to swerve, nearly hitting a vehicle stopped in his lane. As he passed by the vehicle, he realized all of the airbags in the disabled vehicle had been deployed and the windows were shattered. With no rescue personnel in sight, he immediately pulled over to the shoulder lane to render aid. As he crossed into the middle of Rt. 286, he came across a woman standing beside her car who identified herself as the driver of that vehicle. While speaking to the woman, he heard and briefly saw an 18 wheeler semi-truck approaching in their direction at a very high rate of speed. He yelled to another male near the scene and the woman to jump over the guard rail, as he jumped over with them. In these few seconds, the truck hit the disabled vehicle and knocked it about 300 yards. Deputy Matias asked another bystander to call 911 as he ran down the shoulder lane to the semi-truck to render aid and assistance. The driver of the truck was not injured. As he spoke to him on the side of the parkway, multiple cars continued swerving to avoid vehicle debris. In the ten minutes awaiting emergency vehicles to arrive, Deputy Matias directed traffic around the crash site in the safest manner he could without getting himself injured. The ingenuity, performance, and dedication shown by Deputy Matias on this incident had a direct effect on saving two lives.
Also recognized with the Meritorious Civilian Award was an LCSO civilian employee and a contracted county employee who are both assigned to the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center (ADC). In March 2018, a woman entered the lobby of the ADC, where Ms. Jennifer Boyd was working. Ms. Boyd noticed the woman seemed to be in distress, so she asked if she was okay and gave her a place to sit down. Due to a language barrier, an interpreter, Ms. Yeni Garcia, assisted with translation. Both Ms. Boyd and Ms. Garcia noticed the woman was breathing heavy and in need of medical assistance. Ms. Garcia stayed with the female while Ms. Boyd called the ADC Medical staff and EMS. Subsequently, the female was transported to Inova Loudoun Hospital and it was determined that in fact, she was suffering from a heart attack. Ms. Boyd’s and Ms. Garcia’s swift actions and effective efforts resulted in saving the female’s life.
The Loudoun County Valor Awards program awards were established by the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the local public safety agencies, to recognize and acknowledge members of the various public safety departments, as well as everyday citizens, who have placed themselves in harm's way over the past year to ensure the safety of others.
Also recognized at the event were members of the Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System, Loudoun County Volunteer Fire-Rescue, the Town of Leesburg Police Department, as well as Town of Middleburg Police Chief AJ Panebianco, and a total of 19 citizens.
The featured speaker at the ceremony was United States Senator Mark Warner. The Master of Ceremonies at this year’s awards ceremony was ABC 7 News - WJLA News anchors Jonathan Elias and Sam Sweeney.