Contact: Will Arnold
Phone: (916) 956-0633
Sacramento — Governor Gavin Newsom today presented four heroic employees of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) with the Governor’s State Employee Medal of Valor Award, the highest honor California bestows on its public servants.
“Our colleagues Travis, Matthew, Ryan, and James performed brave, selfless acts, putting their own lives at risk to help save the lives of others. I am proud to join Governor Newsom in celebrating their heroism”
Caltrans Equipment Operator Travis Sutton earned the Medal of Valor for his heroic actions to save the life of a woman after her vehicle went over a snow-covered embankment in Butte County in March 2021, performing a dangerous rescue down steep terrain in extremely cold weather.
Caltrans Highway Maintenance Leadworker Matthew Piña received the Medal of Valor for saving a man’s life by dissuading him from jumping off the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in January 2021.
Caltrans Highway Maintenance Worker Ryan Aguirre earned the Medal of Valor for saving his coworker when an errant vehicle was speeding out of control toward them in November 2020. Aguirre risked his own safety by pulling his coworker out from under their maintenance truck just before the crash occurred and, following the collision, offered aid to those injured.
Caltrans Equipment Operator James Burkhouse received the Medal of Valor for his efforts while off duty to save a man’s life when he came across a head-on collision that had occurred in rural San Bernardino County in April 2020. Burkhouse used his experience as a former paramedic to assist the injured driver.
The State Employee Medal of Valor award is the highest honor California bestows on its public servants. Governor Edmund G. Brown Sr. presented the first awards in 1959. Since then, more than 700 state employees have earned that honor for their courage and selflessness in the face of danger.