Gilroy Exchange Club honors 6 recipients – Blue and Gold Awards 2023

Gilroy Exchange Club honors 2023

Gilroy Exchange Club honors these 6 recipients for the Blue and Gold Awards.  The following was the recommendation for these officers and their accomplishments.

From: Lieutenant Shannon Catalano #2044 – Santa Clara County Sheriff\’s Office – South County Patrol, Headquarters Patrol Division

On February 6, 2023, deputies were dispatched to a residence in unincorporated Gilroy for an aid request from CAL FIRE. It was reported there was a possible fentanyl overdose involving multiple individuals at the location. CAL FIRE units were staged nearby and six deputies from the South County Headquarters Patrol Division of the Santa Clara County Sheriff\’s Office responded: Deputies Eric Barton #2104, Christopher Hilt #2098, Ryan Griep #2054, Michael Tapia #2456, Edgar Hernandez #2376, and Marissa Navarro #2459.

Upon arrival and entering the residence, deputies were flagged down by a male who advised there were four unconscious males, as the result of a possible fentanyl overdose, in a detached garage area next to the primary residence. The male did not know if any of the victims were still alive.

Without hesitation and to preserve life, deputies donned preventative safety equipment and entered the detached garage. The deputies worked in a challenging, confined space, no bigger than 200 square feet, and remained poised, nonetheless. The deputies located four unconscious males who needed immediate life-saving medical attention. Courageously, the deputies remained calm, evaluated, and assessed each victim. The deputies also stayed vigilant and considered the many potential dangers and threats the scene offered.

The deputies quickly assessed and attempted to provide medical aid to a male victim, who was located at the rear of the garage. The victim did not have a pulse and displayed other signs of death. The victim was determined to be deceased.

The deputies evaluated and assessed three additional male victims. Deputies Hilt, Hernandez, Navarro, and Tapia verbally communicated calmly and clearly with each other, called out possible hazards, triaged the victims, and monitored for signs of life. They coordinated their efforts, took the remaining victim\’s vitals, and administered an initial dose of Narcan to each of the three victims.

Deputy Griep prepared a second dose of Narcan. Deputy Barton recorded and called out timestamps for each administered Narcan dose to ensure proper timing between each dose to allow deputies to safely administer additional doses to the victims.

After deputies provided medical assistance to the three remaining male victims, only one showed signs of life. The other two victims were pronounced deceased. A determination was made to administer a third dose of Narcan to the remaining victim. The victim started showing signs of life, groaned, and took shallow breaths.

Emergency Medical Staff arrived on scene and transported the victim to the nearest emergency medical facility.

The deputies displayed an extraordinary awareness and ability to evaluate the emergency with extreme competence. They were able to organize, maintain control of a dynamic situation, and continued their work effectively, with astonishing composure. They demonstrated an outstanding level of professionalism and utilized the skills they trained on in an exemplary manner, while under tremendous pressure. Their self-sacrificing efforts and teamwork were exceptional. These first responders demonstrated outstanding service to the South County community and acted above and beyond the call of duty. The above deputies are commended for their heroic actions that directly resulted in saving a life.

Lisa Stringfellow

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