Public Safety Personnel Honored for Heroic Acts, Service

Arlington police officers, sheriff’s deputies, firefighters and 911 operators were honored today (Wednesday) at the 31st annual Valor Awards ceremony.

The awards ceremony, organized by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, was held at the Ft. Myer Officers’ Club at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. Arlington County public safety personnel who have demonstrated extraordinary heroism or exceptional performance were presented with awards, certificates and medals.

Among those awarded were:

  • Donald “DJ Winsock, a 911 operator whose CPR instructions saved the life of a woman who suffered a medical emergency in Rosslyn on August 21, 2012.
  • Sgt. Jack Lantz, a nearly 30-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, for meritorious service over the course of his career.
  • Sgt. David Bowers, and deputy sheriffs Efthimios Alpos, Monica-Lyons-Carr and Arthur Pitts, who saved the life of an intoxicated woman who tried to commit suicide in a holding cell, after being arrested at Reagan National Airport on Nov. 10, 2012.
  • Sgt. Richard Laureano, of the Sheriff’s Office. Laureano used an automated external defibrillator to revive a boy who collapsed during a wrestling match in Woodbridge, while off-duty on Feb. 2, 2013.
  • Capt. Kevin Reardon, for 26 years of meritorious service to the Arlington County Police Department.
  • Cpl. Richard St. Clair and Officer Patrick Maxwell, for valor while attempting to help Alexandria paramedic Joshua Weissman, who fell 30-feet off a bridge and later died while responding to a car fire on I-395.
  • Cpl. David Munn, Officer Daniel Gardner, and Officer Hilary Maloney, for physically restraining a suicidal military veteran from jumping off the 18th floor of a Pentagon City apartment building on June 16, 2012.
  • Capt. Trevor Burrell for meritorious service to the Arlington County Fire Department, specifically in the area of firefighter training.
  • Firefighter Joshua Wise for helping to stop a car that was driving erratically on I-395, while off duty. After the car stopped, Wise rendered aid to the driver, who was suffering a diabetic emergency.

The full explanation of each award and act can be found below, after the jump.

“Often, this is the only public recognition these officers receive,” said Chamber of Commerce President Rich Doud said in a statement. “It is unique to hear the stories of their heroic acts and to meet the officers involved. We are fortunate that they work in Arlington and perform so selflessly in the service of our businesses and citizens.”

ABC7 meteorologist Brian Van De Graff served as emcee to the lunchtime event. In addition to police and fire department personnel, attendees included Arlington County Board members, state legislators, elected constitutional officials, school officials and local business leaders.

Donald “DJ” Winsock – Life-saving award

Arlington County Office of Emergency Management

On Tuesday, August 21, 2012, the emergency communications radio manager, Mr. Donald (“DJ”) Winsock was assisting the daylight shift answering emergency and non-emergency calls.  In this case, a female was calling about a woman who had collapsed and was suffering from a seizure.

DJ received the emergency call at 7:39 a.m. And immediately began updating his computer-aided dispatch (cad) screen, sent critical information to dispatch an ambulance to the 1500 block of wilson boulevard, and began giving life-saving pre-arrival instructions.  A 9-1-1 call taker must be able to multi-task; remain calm during an emergency, speak clearly, quickly and accurately, and be able to type critical information into a computer.  There is no room for error as lives are dependent upon the call taker to get it right the first time, just as DJ did.

The original caller did not know CPR and DJ calmly walked her through what to do, simply explaining “you’re going to breathe for her.”  After reassessing the patient, DJ instructed the caller to conduct CPR and began giving life-saving instructions.  Just as the caller was about to begin giving chest compressions, a second person who knew how to do CPR arrived on the scene.  Together they began to administer CPR.  DJ was counting the necessary compressions and telling the person on the scene what to do.  Shortly thereafter, ems responders arrived on the scene and the patient was transported to a nearby hospital.

At 9:26 a.m., the medic unit sent DJ a message stating “patient is stable and in cath lab.  Please relay thanks to emd, wouldn’t have survived without your great work.”

Those who work in 9-1-1 centers are often overlooked for their outstanding efforts.  They rarely have closure in their calls and they never know when they may be called upon to save a life. It is an extremely demanding and stressful job that comes with long hours working night shifts, weekends and holidays.  But often, these unsung heroes save a life and it makes all the hard work they do so rewarding.


Arlington County Office of the Sheriff

Sergeant Jack Lantz began his career with the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office on December 5, 1983.  Prior to and during the first few years of his employment, he was a soldier in the United States Army Reserves where he served as a corrections specialist for the military police for six years.  Sergeant Lantz’s career spans so long that a review of his personnel file includes carbon copies of documents.

Sergeant Lantz has worked in or touched almost every aspect of the sheriff’s office.  He began as a deputy in the corrections division, and was then transferred to the transportation section where he escorted inmates to other jails and penitentiaries.  In 1993 he was promoted to the position of deputy sheriff ii.   This was followed by assignments in the warrant process, background and court security sections.  In April of 2000, Deputy Lantz was assigned to the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy as a staff instructor.  For the next three years, he played a vital role in the training and development of hundreds of police officers and deputy sheriffs.

In April of 2003, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and returned to work in the corrections division.  Six years later he was transferred to the warrant process section as their new sergeant.  Sergeant Lantz was specifically selected to bring new leadership and direction to this section that is responsible for serving criminal warrants and civil process and is the most visible in the community.  His efforts continue there today where he has brought new energy and efficiencies as was expected.

In addition to this comprehensive experience, Sergeant Lantz serves as a general and firearms instructor.  He has received numerous letters of commendation and appreciation for his hard work and dedication.  A few examples of that recognition include:

  • Being a goodwill ambassador to Special Olympics
  • Successful state audits of warrants and records systems
  • And responding to and directing resources to a large protest in crystal city

His performance reviews contain comment after comment expressing appreciation for his hard work, dedication, and leadership over his twenty-nine and a half year career with the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office.


Arlington County Office of the Sheriff

The booking section of the Arlington County Detention Facility is a high volume section where thousands of people are processed from arrests each year and hundreds of decisions are made every day regarding their status. Responsibilities include the critical and complex legal details regarding each arrestee, preventing illegal contraband from entering the facility and the physical and mental well-being of anyone who is brought into the facility. It is here that the booking deputies work with the arresting officers, magistrate, and mental health and medical staff to properly facilitate each individual arrest.

On November 10, 2012, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) officers arrested and transported a woman from the Ronald Regan National Airport for being drunk in public. The woman was heavily intoxicated and was acting in an unsafe manner. At 1403 hours, the intoxicated arrestee was brought into Arlington County Detention Facility and met by the staff in the booking section.  Deputies Alpos and Lyons-Carr spent a considerable amount of time ensuring every possible detail about her arrest status, her mental and medical health condition and ensured that she was supervised through every step of the process.  The arrestee was very drunk and not being very cooperative. She banged on the door, shouted many derogatory comments to the staff, and refused to follow simple instructions.  The staff continued to assist her through every step of the arrest process.

While waiting in a holding cell for her turn to see the magistrate, the arrestee watched the deputy walk away from her cell and then positioned herself in the corner so she would appear to be using the phone.  She then wrapped the phone cord around her neck and asphyxiated herself.

Shortly afterward, Deputy Alpos observed the arrestee and immediately entered the cell and removed the cord from her neck, then beginning first aid.  Deputies Lyons-Carr and Pitts instantly responded to the scene and assessed the arrestee and discovered that she was not breathing and she did not have a pulse.

The team of deputies began CPR and rescue breathing in efforts to revive her.  Within seconds Sergeant David Bowers arrived and assumed the role of scene commander ensuring that emergency medical services (911) was activated, instructed other staff to get the A.E.D. Machine and that the detention center’s medical staff was notified to respond to the scene.  It was then that Sergeant Bowers noticed one of his staff becoming exhausted from performing CPR and he himself stepped in and took over the CPR process. This first aid action continued for several minutes until the arrestee was resuscitated (a pulse and breathing were present.) Shortly afterward the Arlington County Fire and Rescue Squad arrived and took over rendering medical assistance. The arrestee was transported to the hospital where she survived the incident.

It was clear that if not for the quick actions of these four staff members that the arrestee would not have survived.


Arlington County Office of the Sheriff

On February 2, 2013, Sgt. Laureano attended the cardinal district wrestling championship at Forest Park High School in Woodbridge. At approximately 6:40 p.m., while sitting in the stands, he observed a wrestler collapse to his knees and then onto the mat face first. He observed the wrestler appear to shake and have a seizure.

Sergeant Laureano observed the coaches and athletic trainers trying to communicate with the downed wrestler by calling out his name. The wrestler did not respond to the coaches and trainers.  Sergeant Laureano identified himself as an off-duty law enforcement officer to the Prince William County Police officers and the coaches and trainers at the scene.

The athletic trainers started CPR on the young man while Sergeant Laureano took cadence. He was joined by an off-duty nurse who also assisted in providing first aid.  After two rounds of CPR were unsuccessful in reviving the victim, Sergeant Laureano retrieved the AED machine, which was located approximately 50 yards away, and returned to the scene. He and the off-duty nurse applied the AED leads to monitor the victim’s vital signs.

The AED machine advised him to administer a shock to the victim.  Sergeant Laureano advised the bystanders to clear the area and administered an AED shock to the victim. The AED machine then reevaluated the victim’s vital signs. The AED machine advised them to continue CPR.  Approximately 8-10 more rounds of CPR were necessary before the Prince William County Fire Department paramedics arrived on scene and took over life-saving efforts. The paramedics stabilized and transported the young man to a nearby hospital where he was admitted.

It is with great pleasure that we announce that the young man survived the ordeal and should make a full recovery thanks to the life-saving efforts of Sergeant Laureano and other concerned parents and spectators present at the scene.


Arlington County Police Department

Captain Kevin Reardon has shown commitment, dedication, and service to the Arlington County Police Department And the citizens of Arlington County for the past 26 years.  Prior to joining acpd, he served with the United States Capitol Police.

Captain Reardon is currently assigned as the Commander of the Homeland Security section for Arlington County Police Department.  Key accomplishments for this assignment include:

  • The department’s improvement in the ability to investigate homeland security by collaborating with the FBI, Pentagon Police, Department Of State, and Homeland Security.  He also works with the Terrorist Screening Center to help improve and enhance their services to state and local agencies.
  • Obtaining equipment for the department by acquiring grants, surplus property programs, participating in decision making groups, and providing equipment recommendations.  As a result, the department has been able to provide officers with new and/or improved equipment which enhances their ability to respond to threats in the county.

Captain Reardon began his service with Arlington County Police Department as an officer of the operations division in 1986; was promoted to corporal of the same division in 1988; moved to detective of the criminal investigations division one year later; and then moved back to the operations division as a sergeant for the evening section.  Between 1995 and 2001 he served as lieutenant of the operations division and criminal investigations division where he worked in special operations, special victims, and narcotics.  In 2002, he became Captain for the criminal division, and the operations division in 2005.  In 2007, he became the Captain of the homeland security section, where he continues to work today.  Additionally, while serving in these positions, Captain Reardon dedicated his time as the commander of the civil disturbance unit, assistant commander on the swat team, and a member of the honor guard unit.

He has received 6 commendation awards spanning the past 11 years for the principles of government service award, the meritorious action award, and the division commanders award.

Captain Reardon has been responsible for numerous projects at both the county and regional level.  Several praiseworthy and successful projects include:

  • The trauma kit project where officers are provided trauma kits to give life-saving care if no help has yet arrived
  • The mobile video trailer project which helps provide real time information amongst officers during special events and major incidents
  • And the license plate reader project, which has received great support and funding and totals almost $8.5 million dollars to date.

Moreover, after attending the incident response and terrorist bombings class at New Mexico Tech, he arranged with the school for supervisors and officers to attend as well.   As a result, almost 50 members of the department have completed the course in New Mexico with no cost to the county.

In addition to this comprehensive experience, Captain Reardon serves his time at several other leadership organizations.  He is the law enforcement representative on the USS Arlington commissioning committee, a trustee on the Arlington Police Beneficiary Association for the past 8 years, and serves as head of the APBA 9/11 Fund that has distributed almost $250,000 to 9/11 related charities.

Captain Reardon is a valued employee who has always gone above and beyond the call of duty.


Arlington County Police Department

On February 08, 2012, Corporal Richard St. Clair responded to the HOV lanes of interstate 395 just north of Shirlington circle for the report of a car fire.  Upon his arrival, he parked his cruiser in the left lane of northbound interstate 395 in front of several fire department vehicles.  He walked to the north end of the overpass and crossed over to the HOV lanes through a gap between the guard rails. Corporal St. Clair walked over to a vehicle that was no longer on fire but still smoking. He started to walk away from the smoking car when he heard one of the Virginia State Troopers yell that a firefighter/medic had fallen off of the overpass. Corporal St. Clair ran back to the northbound lanes and looked through the gap between the bridges and saw the firefighter laying in the water face up but not moving.

Corporal St. Clair observed the other firefighters rigging up ropes to lower someone to help the fallen firefighter.  One of the Virginia State Troopers asked if there was any other way to get down there.  Corporal St. Clair yelled, “yes,” and ran with the Virginia State Troopers to the northeast corner of the bridge and jumped from the side about six to eight feet to the ground and ran down to the base of the overpass. Corporal St. Clair ran over to where the water is shallow, looked back and noticed firefighters behind him.

Corporal St. Clair routinely checks under this bridge for people so he knows where the water is shallow enough to cross.  Corporal St. Clair showed the firefighters the shallow areas that they could cross and they went ahead of him. Corporal St. Clair then contacted Sergeant Meincke by cellular phone and made him aware of the situation.

He then went into the water and crossed over to the concrete wall on the other side.  Corporal St. Clair began transferring rescue equipment via a rope, lowering it down from the overpass to the firefighters in the water.  Corporal St. Clair then jumped into the water and helped lift the injured medic to a back board, them helped to lift him to the concrete wall on the south side.  He then assisted with moving rescue equipment around and supporting the side of the injured medic while standing in the water with the injured medic at eye level on the concrete wall.  At one point, Corporal St. Clair retrieved a suction pump that was lowered on a rope from the overpass and gave it to the medic who was trying to get a tube down the injured medic’s throat.  The pump was not working. Corporal St. Clair noticed a piece of plastic sticking out from the lid on the pump , and removed it, fixing the pump which he returned to the medic who was now able to use it to assist with getting the tube down the injured medic’s throat.

Once the injured medic was treated, Corporal St. Clair helped lift him into a stokes basket for lifting him up onto the highway.  Corporal St. Clair then worked with the fire fighters to transfer the injured medic across the water to an old concrete platform in the middle of the water.  Their footing was very slippery, so they passed the injured medic in the basket from person to person until he was across the water.  The medics planned to lift him to the highway from this platform.  Corporal St. Clair helped the medics secure lines to the basket holding the injured medic as they lifted him up to the highway. Once the medic was on the highway, Corporal St. Clair assisted with loading the medical equipment to lines that lifted the items up to the highway.  Corporal St. Clair then left the water with the medics and walked back to the highway overpass.

On February 08, 2012, Officer Patrick Maxwell, responded to the same incident.  Upon his arrival, Officer Maxwell observed three firefighters performing CPR on the injured medic on the concrete ledge on the opposite side of the creek.  Officer Maxwell observed corporal St. Clair in the creek assisting the firefighters from the water.  Officer Maxwell entered the creek and made it to the ledge.  Officer Maxwell asked the firefighters if they had a medic on scene, but they did not.  Officer Maxwell began to climb out of the creek when a paramedic arrived.  Officer Maxwell advised him that he was a medic and asked what he could do to help.  The paramedic asked Officer Maxwell to find his drug box for him.  The ledge was too narrow to walk on with everyone on it, so he re-entered the creek and made his way to where their bags were.  The drug box was not among their bags that were there.  Officer Maxwell advised him of this and offered additional assistance.  Another firefighter had begun to cut the injured medic’s clothing off.  Officer Maxwell assisted the best that he could from within the creek.  He continued carrying equipment and bags across the creek, and assisting the paramedic on the scene.  After a while they advised that they were ready to put the injured medic into the stokes basket.  The firefighters lifted him up while a Virginia State Trooper and Officer Maxwell slid the stokes basket under him. They then helped carry him across the creek to the location where he was hoisted up onto interstate 395.

Deputy Chief Daniel Murray also arrived on scene that night and assisted on interstate 395 northbound and in the hov lanes.  Deputy Chief Murray stayed on scene until the injured medic  was successfully loaded in the medic unit and enroute to the hospital.  Deputy Chief Murray was extremely helpful and assisted in pulling up the stokes basket from the creek bed.

Corporal St. Clair and Officer Maxwell demonstrated courageous efforts in an attempt to save the life of a fellow first responder. There are numerous police officers who assisted that evening, in fact too many too mention, however Corporal Richard St. Clair and Officer Patrick Maxwell went beyond what they are normally asked to do on any given day.


Arlington County Police Department

On June 16, 2012, at approximately 2051 hours, the emergency communications center dispatched officers to the 18th floor of 1401 South Joyce Street in reference to a suicidal individual who was threatening to jump off the 18th floor balcony.  Corporal Munn, Officer Gardner, and Officer Maloney arrived at the same time.  They located the suicidal individual on the exterior balcony engaged in conversation with his mother.  Corporal Munn asked the individual to come off the balcony to speak with him.  The individual questioned this request, but eventually agreed and began to walk towards Corporal Munn and the interior door.  Corporal Munn attempted to grab the individual’s left hand, at which point, the individual pulled away and took two quick steps towards the balcony.  The individual made it to the ledge with the upper half of his torso hanging over the edge and actively attempting to climb over.  This ledge was eighteen floors above the ground.

An immediate struggle ensued with Corporal Munn, Officer Maloney and Officer Gardner actively attempting to pull the individual back onto the balcony and take him into custody.  Further complicating the situation, the individual’s mother and father were also actively attempting to pull the individual back.  The individual was physically fit making taking him into custody difficult.  Officer Maloney removed the cartridge from her taser and applied one short-drive stun to the individual’s rear-side lower torso.  This taser application provided the needed pain compliance to take the individual into custody without further incident.

The individual’s parents later explained that their son is a combat veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan.  He had some relationship issues and spent most of that day telephoning friends and family to tell them “goodbye” as he was planning to take his own life.


Arlington County Fire Department

Captain Trevor Burrell leads the Fire and EMS Training Committee of Arlington County.  He has led the Fire Training Academy over the course of three recruit schools.

One of his first projects for the recruit school was to lead the clean up and revitalization of the academy prior to the start of recruit school 67.  As a mentor for the students, Captain Burrell created a professional atmosphere that promoted safety, education, and production while also creating an enjoyable program.  Additionally, he challenged and supported staff members of the academy by encouraging creativity.  His leadership resulted in an interactive and engaging training program for recruits.  To guarantee Arlington County had the most prestigious fire department, Captain Burrell helped modify the grading and testing procedure to create the highest possible standards for the recruits.

Captain Burrell is also a great example of successful multitasking.  At the beginning of 2012, he managed a seamless transition into the captain ii position while the recruit school 69 was also in session.  Moreover, he successfully reinvigorated the trimester training program while holding additional training sessions for other recruits.

He is proactive in ensuring Arlington County’s Fire Department has the best and most efficient staff and system by helping to develop new standard operating procedures and developing new training manuals.  Captain Burrell has developed a streamlined training schedule that enables crews to obtain specific hands-on training at acquired structures.

Captain Burrell is an exemplary leader, officer, and firefighter.  His commendable efforts led three outstanding classes of recruits into confident and prepared firefighters through the exceptional training they received.  His dedication to his work is admirable.


Arlington County Fire Department

On November 23, 2012, Firefighter Joshua Wise was off duty with his wife and son traveling southbound in his personal vehicle on interstate 395.  At approximately 1600 hours between route 7 and the seminary road exit, firefighter wise noticed a car driving erratically, sideswiping the interstate wall barriers.  Firefighter Wise weaved his vehicle in between cars to gain a better vantage point.

Firefighter Wise observed what he appeared to be a child driving the car from the back seat.  In heavy traffic and without hesitation, he pulled his truck in front of the out-of-control car, and asked his wife to call 911 from her cellular phone.  Once in front of the distressed car, firefighter wise positioned and slowed his POV in order to stop the vehicle.  Once this was done, he used his Firefighter /EMT skills and mechanical expertise to quickly assess the scene.  He disabled and secured the car, then performed a head to toe basic assessment of the driver.  He managed to calm the entire family that was in the car. Firefighter wise was able to use the victim’s glucose meter to check his blood sugar levels, and found he was having a diabetic problem.  Firefighter Wise administered oral sugar fluids to help stabilize the patient until the arrival and assistance of both the Virginia State Police and the Alexandria Fire Department.

In keeping with the highest traditions of the Arlington County Fire Department, Firefighter Wise, while off duty, took control of a chaotic event, averted a possible family holiday disaster, and took a calculated risk to save others.

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