Prince William Chamber Celebrates Those Who Go “Above & Beyond”
Last week, business and community leaders gathered at Heritage Hunt Golf & Country Club for the 27th Annual Valor Awards. This event of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce honors the first responders of Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, recognizing those men and women who have gone above the line of duty. This year’s ceremony included a special tribute to fallen Prince William County Police Officer Chris Yung. Jim Vance narrated the inspirational tales of the award winners.
“The Prince William Chamber takes great pride in recognizing those who perform extraordinary acts of self sacrifice and bravery in the line of duty. As leaders in the business community, we take this moment to pause and honor those who risk so much to protect our lives, our livelihoods and our quality of life,” said Chamber President & CEO Rob Clapper.
Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center was the main event sponsor. The Prince William Chamber’s Quality of Life Vision Partner is Dominion Virginia Power. Additional Valor Awards sponsors include NOVEC-Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative, Cardinal Bank, MTCI-Management & Training Consultants, Inc., Virginia Airborne Search & Rescue Squad, Prince William Living and Prince William Times.
Photos of the ceremony are available on the Prince William Chamber’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pwchamber. The commemorative program can be found online at https://pwchamber.org/events/valor/. Following are the stories of this year’s award winners:
Silver Medal 2013: Prince William County Police Department, Officer Joshua Boughman, Officer Luke Dean and Officer Michael Scarsella
It can come from a disgruntled co-worker, or an under-motivated teenager. We have all heard it: “That is not my job.” Luckily for oneManassasfamily, rescue professionals do not think in those terms. If the task at hand is saving lives, they are always willing to take action that goes above and beyond the call of duty.
When the Prince William County Police Department dispatched officers to a townhouse fire with possible entrapment in Manassas, Officer Joshua Boughman was first on the scene. A resident of the home informed him that two people were trapped in the burning building. Without hesitation, the officer entered the home to begin his search, even though the left side of the home was engulfed in flames.
Officers Dean and Scarsella arrived on the scene shortly after. They too rushed inside, meeting up with Boughman on the second floor. There, Boughman located an elderly woman who told them a man with a broken leg was trapped on the third floor. The officers made their way through the thick, black smoke to locate the immobile individual. Officers Dean and Scarsella each took an arm, pulling the injured man out of bed. With Officer Boughman clearing a path, Dean and Scarsella carried the man, with his arms around their shoulders, down the stairs and out of the home.
With all occupants rescued, the three officers turned their attention to ensuring that the neighboring homes were vacated. For putting themselves in harm’s way to save others from a burning building, Prince William County Police Department Officers Joshua Boughman, Luke Dean and Michael Scarsella receive the Silver Medal.
Bronze Medal 2013: Prince William County Department of Fire & Rescue, Lieutenant Walter Hunt, Technician II David Thomas and Technician II Samuel Kaye
Through innovative and decisive action, Prince William County Fire & Rescue Medic Unit 514 members Lieutenant Walter Hunt, Technician II David Thomas and Technician II Samuel Kaye saved the life of a woman shot in the face with a 12-gauge shotgun at point-blank range.
The three rescue workers arrived to find the victim conscious, writhing violently and moaning. A helicopter was immediately requested and the patient rushed via stretcher to Medic Unit 514 for transport to the landing site.
Traditional stabilization techniques could not be used due to a lack of jaw and cheek structures. The two technicians improvised, developing makeshift cervical spine stabilization and tilting the patient to a downward 45 degree angle to maintain an unobstructed airway. They also utilized aggressive suctioning and fashioned a blow-by oxygen delivery system out of a nasal cannula with a pair of trauma shears and tape. These out-of-the-box techniques kept the patient’s blood oxygen saturation level at 100% throughout her emergency care.
Bleeding control was accomplished with dressings and direct pressure, with attention given to the possibility of skull fracture. When the first of two IV lines was compromised due to the patient’s flailing, the technicians thought quickly, effectively restrained the victim and re-established the line. By administering IV fluids to compensate for blood loss, the technicians maintained a safe systolic blood pressure.
With the patient’s vital signs stabilized, the crew began dressing the wounds to prepare the patient for helicopter transport. Their primary concern was to prevent infection and keep debris from helicopter’s rotor wash away from the injury.
All of this was accomplished in a moving emergency vehicle.
Finally, before transferring the patient to the flight crew, the medics assisted in establishing an artificial advanced airway by means of an emergency surgical procedure. The Fairfax trauma center later reported that due to the actions taken by these paramedics, the patient is expected to make a full recovery.
For their ability to adapt medical techniques and remain professional in an extreme trauma situation, saving the life of a gunshot victim, Prince William County Fire & Rescue Lieutenant Walter Hunt, Technician II David Thomas and Technician II Samuel Kaye receive the Bronze Medal for Valor.
Bronze Medal 2013: Prince William County Department of Fire & Rescue, Captain Erik McCoy, Technician I Raymond Sanez and Technician I Cager Mackaravitz
Prince William County Fire & Rescue Captain Erik McCoy, Technician I Ray Sanez and Technician I Cager Mackaravitz went beyond standard operating procedure to save a woman from a burning building.
When the crew of truck E523 arrived to an apartment fire, they were physically exhausted. On a day with a heat index of over 100 degrees, they had already responded to two other structure fires. However, with reports of occupants jumping from balconies to escape the fire on “Side C” of the building, they quickly went to work.
Captain McCoy told Technician Jones to position their truck on Side C to assist in victim rescue. The crew could see an occupant on the third-floor balcony, and heavy smoke was coming from the eaves of the roof above. Captain McCoy advised the resident not to jump. Technicians Mackaravitz and Sanez deployed a 24-foot ladder to the balcony.
With Technician Sanez handling the ladder, Captain McCoy and Technician Mackaravitz climbed to the balcony and assisted the occupant down and away from the building. This type of rescue would normally be performed by a truck and rescue company, but since none were available at the time, the crew of Emergency Vehicle 423 stepped up to the challenge without hesitation. Impressively, this is the first time this particular crew had worked together.
For setting aside their own fatigue and thinking on their feet to rescue a citizen from a burning building, Prince William County Fire & Rescue Captain Erik McCoy, Technician I Ray Sanez and Technician I Cager Mackaravitz receive the Bronze Medal for Valor.
Bronze Medal 2013: Provost Marshall Office, Security Battalion, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Marine Corps Civilian Police Officer Michael Rivera
Marine Corps Civilian Police Officer Michael Rivera demonstrated that there is no such thing as “off-duty” for public safety professionals, risking his own life to save a crash victim from a burning vehicle.
While at a stoplight on his way home from work, Officer Rivera witnessed an SUV crash into a pickup truck at a high rate of speed. The collision pushed the truck across the road and caused the SUV to burst into flames.
Without hesitation, Rivera sprang into action. He rushed to the SUV and began working to free the driver, an elderly woman. Despite the growing flames and mangled door, he pulled her to safety. An off-duty nurse on the scene began delivering medical care.
Officer Rivera then started to make his away around the burning car to check on the driver of the truck. He left only after seeing that the fire department had arrived and was tending to the second victim.
Three weeks later, Officer Rivera had a chance to meet the woman he saved, and learned that the accident was a blessing in disguise for her. While hospitalized, the doctors discovered she had pancreatic cancer, and were able to begin treatment at an early stage.
For putting himself in harm’s way to save a stranger from a burning vehicle while off-duty, Marine Corps Civilian Police Officer Michael Rivera receives the Bronze Medal for Valor.
Bronze Medal 2013: Manassas City Police Department, Officer Chris Golick and Officer Adam Plourde
By going above the call of duty, Manassas City Police Department Officers Chris Golick and Adam Plourde ensured the safe rescue of the occupants of a house fire, and provided the victims with resources after they were rescued.
While on off-duty detail at Point of the Woods, Officers Golick and Plourde heard screams coming from the rear of a home, which Officer Plourde saw was burning. Upon calling the fire into dispatch, the officers immediately entered the house to assist the victims.
They quickly located four residents, including a young child and an elderly man with a medical condition, and escorted them to safety. Questioning the victims as to whether others were trapped in the house, the officers learned that another resident might be asleep upstairs. Officers Golick and Plourde attempted to locate the resident but were driven out by thick, black smoke.
The officers advised arriving fire units where to look for the sleeping resident. As a result, fire personnel were able to directly respond to the correct bedroom, rescuing a sleeping man from the fire.
While Emergency Medical Services treated the victims, Officers Golick and Plourde remained on hand, calming the frantic residents and explaining follow-up procedures to them. Additionally, they helped contact family members and arranged transportation to alternative housing for the night.
For acting quickly and selflessly to rescue and then reassure victims of a house fire, and for providing fire personnel with lifesaving information, Manassas City Police Department Officers Chris Golick and Adam Plourde receive the Bronze Medal for Valor.
Lifesaving Award 2013: Manassas City Police Department, PFC Dann Villanueva
With his quick response and investigation of a medical emergency, Manassas City Police Department Officer Dann Villanueva saved the life a fifteen year old boy.
Officer Villanueva was assisting officers working a traffic accident when a concerned citizen flagged him down and said that a teenage boy had fallen off his skateboard and appeared to be extremely hurt. Villanueva quickly cleared the scene of the accident and responded to the skateboard incident.
There, he found a young male lying on the ground unconscious and turning blue. A passerby had stopped to help. Determining that the citizen knew CPR, Officer Villanueva began performing rescue breathing while she did chest compressions. Together they reestablished a pulse. Rescue workers arrived and took over medical care.
Moving into investigative mode, Officer Villanueva spoke with the boy’s friends who were present, and called the parents to the scene. Interviewing the parents, he learned that heart problems are hereditary in the boy’s family. He gave this critical information to rescue personnel, while also maintaining a compassionate demeanor that calmed the family and friends during this stressful situation.
The victim was flown to INOVA Fairfax Hospital where it was determined that he was experiencing a cardiac emergency. He was admitted to pediatric ICU and has since made a full recovery.
For delivering prompt medical attention and performing a thoughtful investigation that uncovered lifesaving medical history, Manassas City Police Department Officer Private First Class Dann Villanueva receives the Lifesaving Award.
Lifesaving Award: Provost Marshall Office, Security Battalion, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Marine Corps Civilian Police Officer Bradley J. Montoya
Demonstrating a command of lifesaving techniques and poise under pressure, Marine Corps Civilian Police Officer Bradley Montoya rescued a man found unconscious and unresponsive.
While on patrol, Officer Montoya was dispatched to investigate a report of person passed out on a running trail. A witness directed him to the victim, who was not breathing. The officer immediately began chest compressions. Meanwhile, he calmly instructed the witness in rescue breathing techniques to accompany the compressions. Through these efforts, the victim began to breathe on his own.
Emergency Medical Service personnel arrived shortly after, assuming responsibility for the victim. Officer Montoya accompanied the ambulance to the hospital to transfer the victim’s belongings and alert the hospital of the CPR measures he had conducted.
For having the presence of mind to instruct a witness to assist in lifesaving care in an emergency situation, saving the life of a man found unconscious and not breathing, Marine Corps Civilian Police Officer Bradley J. Montoya receives the Lifesaving Award.
Lifesaving Award 2013: Prince William County Police Department, Oficer Dirk Jan Cumings, Officer Trevin A. Frame and Officer Daniel C. Guinn
Prince William County Police Officers Dirk Jan Cumings, Trevin A. Frame and Daniel C. Guinn worked cohesively as a team to rescue a suicide victim.
Arriving to an attempted suicide call, Officers Cumings, Frame and Guinn discovered the victim inside a running vehicle parked in a closed garage. Officer Frame quickly pulled a crowbar from his breaching pack and worked with Officer Cumings to pry the door open. Meanwhile, Officer Guinn made his way around the house to look for an alternate point of entry. He rejoined the other officers as soon as they managed to open the garage door.
Upon gaining entry, the officers saw a vacuum hose sticking out of the exhaust pipe and leading into the car. The victim was motionless inside. Officer Cumings drew a deep breath before hastily approaching the driver’s side, reaching in, turning the engine off and evaluating the victim.
With the garage opened and car turned off, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) units on the scene were able to render aid to the victim, who was transported to Prince William Hospital for treatment. It was later determined that the victim is an EMT with Alexandria Fire and Rescue, who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
For saving a fellow public safety officer from committing suicide through exemplary teamwork and first responder skills, Prince William County Police Officers Dirk Jan Cumings, Trevin A. Frame and Daniel C. Guinn receive the Lifesaving Award.
Lifesaving Award 2013: Prince William County Police Department, Sergeant Jeff H. Good, Officer Gary P. Brunelle, Officer John G. Franklin, Officer Robert J. Davis, Officer Eric J. Garecht,
Officer Kelly R. Anderson and TCIV Tracy M. Zingg
Under the leadership of Prince William County Police Sergeant Jeff H. Good, Officers Gary P. Brunelle, John G. Franklin, Robert J. Davis, Eric J. Garecht and Kelly R. Anderson and TCIV Tracy M. Zingg displayed excellent police work that prevented an attempted suicide.
Units were dispatched in response to a report of a missing, suicidal woman. Early November 16, her husband woke to find a handwritten obituary, stating that she would be deceased on November 15. Additionally, he found a note saying that all bills had been paid along with a box of valuable family items for each of the children.
Officers put out a lookout for the woman. Sergeant Good asked TCIV Zingg to ping the woman’s cell phone number. TCIV Zingg got a signal from a brick wall at the back of a self storage facility on Old Bridge Road. Officers quickly converged on the area and began a thorough search.
After the officers had fanned out and searched surrounding areas, Sergeant Good decided the only area left to check was the adjacent storage facility. The gate was locked, so the officers jumped over the wall to gain entrance. After a check of the alleys turned up nothing, Sergeant Good again had TCIV Zingg ping the cell phone. The signal indicated it was in the same spot as before.
Sergeant Good instructed officers to look for unlocked storage units. Officers Brunelle, Franklin, Garecht and Davis soon found the woman in a unit, unconscious inside her vehicle. A dryer hose was running from the exhaust pipe into the car.
The officers quickly moved the woman outside of the car and storage unit. They found she had a faint pulse and shallow breathing. Officer Anderson made sure her airway was unobstructed and covered her with a jacket and an emergency blanket.
Rescue units arrived and transported the victim to Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center in Woodbridge, where she received care and made a full recovery.
For their persistence and thoroughness in searching for a suicidal woman, preventing her death, Prince William County Police Sergeant Jeff H. Good, Officers Gary P. Brunelle, John G. Franklin, Robert J. Davis, Eric J. Garecht and Kelly R. Anderson and TCIV Tracy M. Zingg receive the Lifesaving Award.
Merit Award 2013: Prince William County Police Department, Officer Michael A. Pope
Lifesaving Award 2013: Prince William County Police Department, Officer Jonathan B. Zarkauskas
Prince William County Police Officers Michael A. Pope and Jonathan B. Zarkauskas worked in tandem to maintain control and minimize risk to themselves and others in dealing with a self-destructive and possibly violent citizen.
Officer Pope was the first to arrive at a “domestic in progress” call. Residents reported a family member had cut himself with a knife, punched holes in walls and also rammed his head through the wall before exiting the house and climbing onto the roof. Officer Pope found the man pacing and threatening to jump off.
Engaging the man in conversation, Officer Pope learned the man was depressed and angry because his girlfriend had broken up with him that day. The officer assured the man that while breakups are difficult, he would be able to recover. Officer Pope also said he would leave the man alone if he would allow the officer to examine his wounds.
This rapport led to the man climbing from the roof to the deck. However, he still kept a hand on the roof ledge. It was clear he would climb back up if he felt threatened. The sound of approaching sirens enraged the man. Officer Pope assured him that it was just the two of them saying, “We’re cool.” The sirens stopped.
Unbeknownst to Officer Pope, Officer Zarkauskas was positioned nearby and directing the supporting officers based on both the man’s behavior and the direction of Officer Pope’s conversation.
When footsteps were heard in the adjacent wooded area, the man again became angry. Behind the scenes, Officer Zarkauskas told the officers in the woods to pull back and stay out of sight. Officer Pope’s seeming ability to control anything that agitated the man helped build trust.
These reassuring interactions allowed Officer Pope to move within five feet of where the man stood. Officer Pope continued to show concern about the man’s wounds. When the man extended his lacerated arm for examination, Officer Pope felt it was too risky to grab the man, as the blood presented a biohazard risk and made it more likely the man would slip from his grasp.
Officer Pope then asked to see the wound on the back of the man’s head, saying he would need to turn around for this examination. With the man’s back turned, Officer Pope grabbed the man around the torso, pulling him off the railing, onto the deck. Officers that Officer Zarkauskas had positioned inside the house were able to reach Officer Pope within seconds.
By keeping a level head and acting responsively, and through instinctive teamwork, Prince William County Police Officers Michael A. Pope and Jonathan B. Zarkauskas were able to diffuse a violent situation without escalation while minimizing risk to both citizen and officer.
Merit Award 2013: Prince William County Department of Fire & Rescue, Technician II Christopher Gant, Technician II Matthew McClurg, Technician II Chanse Twyman, Technician II Luke Deatley, Technician I Michael Hendrickson and Technician I Keith Kraus
Prince William County Department of Fire & Rescue Technician II Christopher Gant, Technician II Matthew McClurg, Technician II Chanse Twyman, Technician II Luke Deatley, Technician I Michael Hendrickson and Technician I Keith Kraus demonstrated tenacity and a dedication to their patient, saving his life and also protecting his quality of life.
Responding to a head-on collision, the technicians found a dump truck fused into a crushed and mangled Ford Explorer. Witnesses reported that the driver of the Explorer was alive and trapped in his vehicle.
The technicians found the driver conscious but entangled within the car. The only access to him was through a space approximately 18 by 18 inches wide. The clock was ticking on “the golden hour.” Following a trauma, victims have the best chance of survival if specialized surgical care can be received within 60 minutes of the incident. It took 15 minutes to develop an extrication plan and gather the needed equipment.
Normal extrication tactics such as door or roof removal were near impossible due to the vehicle damage. The technicians made changes on the fly, deconstructing the Explorer piece-by-piece in the summer heat. 30 minutes into the hour, enough space was created to start an IV, a critical life sustaining treatment for trauma patients.
As the crew continued its exhausting work, a Medivac helicopter crew arrived and was placed on standby in case more advanced medical treatment would be required, such as an emergency tracheotomy or amputation.
Nearing the end of the golden hour, the patient’s lower extremities remained entangled under the crumpled dashboard. A helicopter crew member called Fairfax Hospital to request permission for an emergency field amputation. Hearing this, the extrication crew dug deep, refusing to fail at rescuing their patient. The technicians found a way to push more of the dash away and wrest the patient from the crumpled vehicle.
The patient was transported by helicopter to Fairfax Hospital, arriving just over an hour from when the extrication began. He is anticipated to make a full recovery, with all limbs in tact.
For showing perseverance and ingenuity under grueling circumstances, and for refusing to give up on their patient, saving both his life and limbs, Prince William County Department of Fire & Rescue Technician II Christopher Gant, Technician II Matthew McClurg, Technician II Chanse Twyman, Technician II Luke Deatley, Technician I Michael Hendrickson and Technician I Keith Kraus receive the Merit Award.
Hillary Robinette Award 2013: Manassas City Police Department, Master Detective David Abbott
Through detailed investigation and collaboration with fellow detectives across a number of agencies, Manassas City Police Department Master Detective David Abbott ensured that a sexual predator was put behind bars for life. In November 2011, Detective Abbott began an investigation regarding repeated sexual assaults of a student that had occurred in the 1990’s. As a result of his findings, the suspect was charged with four counts of forcible sodomy against a juvenile.
Since the initial charges, additional victims have come forward, exposing sexual abuse by the suspect spanning a period of almost three decades. Detective Abbott has since led hundreds of hours of interviews and countless hours of evidence collection and examination. He worked closely with peers in organizations including the Prince William County Police Department, FBI and Northern Virginia ICAC Task Force to build the case.
On March 6, 2012, a 63 count indictment was handed down against the suspect in addition to the original charges. In June 2012, the suspect pled guilty and received a sentence of 80 years in prison.
For conducting a methodical, cross-department investigation that exposed the full magnitude of crimes and bringing a longtime predator to justice, Manassas City Police Department Master Detective David Abbott receives the Hillary Robinette Award.
Investigative Merit Award 2013: Prince William County Police Department, Special Victims Bureau
By taking on some of our community’s most difficult cases involving some of the most vulnerable segments of our population, the Prince William County Police Special Victims Bureau makes our community safer and helps victims to begin the healing process.
The Bureau has just 18 detectives investigating sexual assaults, child and elder abuse and domestic assaults. The team also consists of one domestic violence coordinator and an administrative assistant.
In 2012, this small but tight knit group managed to investigate 706 cases, make over 200 arrests and review 1,881 domestic assault and battery cases. This caseload included 430 sexual assaults, including 85 rape investigations. These types of cases are particularly challenging and take an emotional toll on the detectives. The Bureau also had 474 “call outs” for the year, 151 of which required multiple detectives to respond.
These cases are like no other in the department. They often have very little physical evidence and victims that are initially unwilling to disclose the trauma they have endured. Detectives spend countless hours building relationships and trust with the victims, both to aid the investigation and to help the victims begin their healing process.
Detectives are quick to alter their schedules at a moment’s notice to help one another with investigations. This commitment to the total team mentality allows them to help each other in maintaining a healthier work/life balance. The group’s cohesion also provides a system of checks and balances, ensuring that all cases are thoroughly investigated.
For their dedication to solving some of our community’s most difficult cases and to fostering the healing of victims, often at great personal cost, the Prince William County Police Special Victims Bureau receives the Investigative Merit Award.
(above) Winners of the 2013 Prince William Valor Awards
(above) A tribute was paid to Prince William County Officer Chris Yung, who died in the line of duty on New Year’s Eve
Photo Credits: Andrew Spence, Prince William County