Sacramento — The State of California today honored 11 Caltrans employees with the Governor’s State Employee Medal of Valor, the highest honors California bestows on its public servants. The awards are given to state employees for acts of heroism that go beyond the normal call of duty and at great personal risk to protect state property or save lives.
“These 11 Caltrans workers courageously saved others while putting their own lives at risk. Today, we join Governor Gavin Newsom in honoring them and showing our gratitude for their selfless acts. We are extremely proud that they are part of our Caltrans family.”
Caltrans Landscape Maintenance Worker Brian Rubalcava and Highway Maintenance Worker Jason Lofton were awarded the Silver Medal of Valor for their heroic act during a dangerous rescue in extreme cold weather down steep terrain to save a couple after their vehicle went over a snow-covered embankment in Siskiyou County on Dec. 19, 2021.
Caltrans Equipment Operators Jeremy Maraviov, Scott Davidson and Trevor Gipson were awarded with the Silver Medal of Valor for saving a father and young son after their car went down a steep embankment in Trinity County on Dec. 26, 2021.
Caltrans Highway Maintenance Worker Nicholas Macias and Equipment Operator Robert Hernandez were awarded the Silver Medal of Valor for saving a man trapped inside a burning vehicle in Merced on Aug. 3, 2022.
Caltrans Equipment Operator Roberto Lopez was awarded the Gold Medal of Valor for rescuing a colleague who was trapped in a burning vehicle after an incident with a cargo truck in San Diego County on May 26, 2022.
Caltrans Maintenance Area Superintendent Cody Collins and Transportation Engineering Technician Jeffrey Scardine were awarded the Silver Medal of Valor for rescuing a student who fell while taking a bank scaling and rock-climbing course in Kingvale on Oct. 6, 2022. The student was dangling by rope, putting him into a life-threatening situation. Collins and Scardine quickly assessed the situation, rappelled, and transferred the student safely to the ground, saving his life.
Caltrans Highway Maintenance Worker William Miller was awarded the Silver Medal of Valor for rescuing a woman after her vehicle struck Miller’s in the early morning of Jan. 21, 2020, in Placer County. Despite his injuries, he selflessly saved the woman in the other vehicle before both vehicles were engulfed in flames.
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, including 116 Caltrans employees, have earned the honor for their courage and selflessness in the face of danger.
Update July 12, 2023: Watch the 2023 Medal of Valor Interview video (0:05:28) including an emotional sharing from one of the survivors and the 2023 Medal of Valor Ceremony video (0:30:56) capturing the poignant moment of their medal presentations and the reading of their incredible stories.