On Monday, May 30, 2016, you were dispatched to a residence on a report of a structure fire. Upon your arrival, you observed large flames and dark plumes of smoke from the second story of the home. You arrived prior to fire personnel and met neighbors who reported to you that the residence was as a residential care facility and that people were still inside. You entered the residence and observed two caregivers who were frantic and struggling to move a patient from his bed onto a wheelchair. The patient was non-ambulatory; he had oxygen tanks to support his breathing and could not move without assistance. The room was rapidly filling with a thick haze of smoke; visibility and the ability to breathe were becoming difficult. Without hesitation, you took control of the situation and lifted the patient out of the bed and onto the wheelchair. Concerned the structure may collapse at any moment, you instructed the caregivers to evacuate the residence. Shortly thereafter, you moved the patient out of the burning structure and to a place of safety.
You confirmed with the care givers that all of the patients were accounted for and were not harmed. You arranged for medics to check each patient and provide an oxygen tank for the rescued patient.
Without regard for your safety, you courageously and selflessly took life-saving action to rescue a person from a burning building. You acted without hesitation or reservation and never gave thought to your own well-being or the danger you were in. You bravely risked great bodily injury to save the life of another human being.
You are to be commended for your professionalism and dedication to duty.
Dated: September 13, 2016
Carlos G. Bolanos, Sheriff
County of San Mateo