Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

NCFPD gives Valor Awards to Avila, Benoit, Bradshaw, Kontekaas, Saldana

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The Oct. 25 meeting of the North County Fire Protection District included the presentation of Valor Awards to five North County Fire Protection District personnel.

Emergency medical technician Freddy Avila, captain Mike Benoit, captain Joey Bradshaw, firefighter/paramedic Josh Kontekaas, and paramedic Gabe Saldana were presented with the Valor Awards.

"We save our valor awards for heroic actions," said NCFPD fire chief Keith McReynolds.

On Feb. 20, Bradshaw and his family were camping in Palm Springs. Bradshaw was swimming in a campground pool when he heard screams. Several people in his group yelled for him. A child who had been in another pool was not breathing and was unconscious, and Bradshaw ran to that pool deck where the child had been placed.

Bradshaw administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the child, who eventually began breathing on his own. Even after the child was once again breathing, Bradshaw remained with the child until the local fire department and law enforcement arrived. The child made a full recovery.

"That child is thriving and doing well today," McReynolds said.

On April 16, an on-duty engineer at Station 3 in Rainbow went into cardiac arrest. Benoit and Kontekaas were the other members of the station's crew that day, and they began lifesaving efforts while also requesting additional assistance from the dispatch center. Avila and Saldana arrived on the ambulance and provided care. The engineer was transported to Palomar Medical Center where medical care was turned over to the hospital staff.


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