Thursday, April 19 , 2018, 12:28 pm | A Few Clouds 62º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Santa Barbara County First Responders Recognized at Valor Ceremony

Medals and certificates given to nine personnel for their efforts during Whittier Fire, Montecito debris flows

Certificates and medals of valor were bestowed Thursday on nine first-responders for their actions during last summer’s Whittier Fire and January’s Montecito debris flows. From right are Chief Eric Peterson, Matt Udkow, George DeLuca, Glen Dupont, Thomas Wade, Bryce Wible, and Bruce Meyers. Click to view larger
Certificates and medals of valor were bestowed Thursday on nine first-responders for their actions during last summer’s Whittier Fire and January’s Montecito debris flows. From right are Chief Eric Peterson, Matt Udkow, George DeLuca, Glen Dupont, Thomas Wade, Bryce Wible, and Bruce Meyers. (Ryan Cullom / Noozhawk photo)

Several Santa Barbara County firefighters and helicopter pilots were recognized Thursday for their heroic efforts during the Whittier Fire in December and debris flows that struck Montecito in January.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department hosted a Valor ceremony at the county fire headquarters near Santa Barbara, where Fire Chief Eric Peterson presented two certificates of valor and seven medals of valor to nine individuals who served beyond the line of duty. 

To be approved by the appointed Valor Award Committee, there must be conclusive evidence that the act of saving or attempting to save a life was performed voluntary with an extraordinary degree of risk to the firefighter’s life, or the emergency responder voluntarily sacrificed himself or herself in an attempt to save another person. 

Personnel awarded certificates of valor for the Whittier fire were county Fire Marshall Steve Oaks and Support Services Division Chief Matthew Farris.

Fire equipment operator supervisor Mark Linane, Jr. received the medal of valor for his work during the Whittier Fire.

Mark Linane, Jr. receives the medal of valor from Santa Barbara County Fire Chief Eric Peterson for his work during last summer’s Whittier Fire. Click to view larger
Mark Linane, Jr. receives the medal of valor from Santa Barbara County Fire Chief Eric Peterson for his work during last summer’s Whittier Fire. (Ryan Cullom / Noozhawk photo)

Medals of valor for service during the debris flow were awarded to Pilot George DeLuca, a county sheriff's deputy; county fire Capt. Thomas Wade; firefighter and paramedic Bruce Meyers and the crew of county Air Support Unit Copter 308; pilot Matt Udkow; firefighter and paramedic Bryce Wible; and county fire Capt. Glen Dupont.

Twenty-three people were killed in the Jan. 9 debris flows, and hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed, along with huge infrastructure damage to the Montecito area. 

The Whittier Fire broke out July 8, and burned 18,430 acres in the Santa Ynez Mountains west of Goleta.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >