LOS ANGELES — 5 first responders with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Division had been introduced with a Medal of Valor from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Division on Tuesday for his or her efforts within the search and restoration operation of an SBSD member who died while searching for a missing hiker from Irvine on Mount Baldy in December 2019.
Undersheriff Dicus, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Division presents the Medal of Valor to #LASD Air Rescue 5 crew members for daring snow/ice rescue/restoration of two San Bernardino SD SAR members throughout inclement climate at excessive altitude on Mt Baldy. Saving lives precedence 1. pic.twitter.com/roWbW7eZfy
— SEB (@SEBLASD) April 27, 2021
Undersheriff Shannon Dicus of the SBSD introduced the medals to Los Angeles County Air Rescue 5 Crew members Deputies Todd Kocisko, Scott Helbing, Steve Pratt and Jennifer Shepard and Sgt. Dave Carver for his or her bravery throughout the operation.
The 5 crew members had been looking for SBSD Search and Rescue member Timothy Staples. The 32-year-old Staples was one in every of 126 folks throughout 23 groups looking for Sreenivas “Sree” Mokkapati, who was reported lacking on Dec. 8, 2019, after turning into separated from his group whereas ascending Mount Baldy.
Staples’ companion had alerted the Sheriff’s Division that he had change into separated from Staples.
“Regardless of inclement climate situations and treacherous terrain, members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Air Rescue 5 helicopter crew situated Staples in an space of ice and snow,” the LASD mentioned. “He was unresponsive, and a crew member lowered to Staples decided he was lifeless.
“Regardless that the operation changed into a restoration, the crew’s efforts nonetheless display the harmful working situations search and rescue personnel face on daily basis.”
Staples was a instructor at Damien Excessive Faculty in La Verne, an all-male Catholic college. Mokkapati’s stays had been ultimately recovered and recognized in June 2020.
Our most honest gratitude & appreciation to @sbcountysheriff for presenting @SEBLASD Air Rescue 5 Crew with the Medal of Valor. The hope, the mission, the precedence has all the time been to Save Lives. Please settle for our deepest thanks. pic.twitter.com/7gNebLgiyq
— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) April 27, 2021
“For my part, the LASD has probably the greatest search and rescue applications within the nation, and the flight deputies and crew of Air 5 are the cream of the crop,” mentioned Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who attended Tuesday’s ceremony in Los Angeles.