Tuesday, November 13 , 2018, 9:04 pm | Fair 53º

 
 
 
 

Two CSU Channel Islands Police Officers Awarded Medals of Valor

Two CSU Channel Islands police officers received Medals of Valor for saving a man’s life on the CI campus earlier this year.

Jeff Cowgill
Sgt. Jeff Cowgill

Sgt. Jeff Cowgill and Officer Stephen Osman were honored for their heroic actions at a Peace Officers Association of Ventura County ceremony on Saturday. 

The Medal of Valor recognizes officers who show extraordinary bravery above and beyond the call of duty in risking their own safety to save others. The law enforcement association holds the awards ceremony each year to honor acts of bravery, heroism and service by law enforcement personnel and citizens of Ventura County.

Cowgill and Osman were awarded for rescuing a utility worker on the CI campus last spring. On March 16, the two officers responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting an explosion at the university’s electrical substation. They arrived to find the building on fire and consumed with thick, black smoke. Inside, they could see a man lying on the floor with his upper body on fire.

They ran into the burning building and carried the man outside to safety. Determining that he was not breathing and had no pulse, the officers — both trained emergency medical technicians — performed CPR and used an automated external defibrillator to revive the man.

“Through the heroic efforts of Jeff and Steve, the injured man has survived and is recovering today,” CI President Richard Rush said. “We are exceptionally fortunate to have officers as part of our campus community who exhibit such courage and professional acumen.”

The awards ceremony also honored the man’s co-worker, Gary Cowles, president of DK Electric, with the Citizen’s Medal of Merit. Before the officers arrived, Cowles pulled the injured man from an electrical cabinet onto the floor and worked to save him by using a fire extinguisher and cutting burning clothes from his body.

Cowgill is a lifetime resident of Ventura County and a 20-year veteran of law enforcement who has served as a sergeant for CIPD since its inception. In addition to being a police EMT, he is a counselor at his church and volunteers at a homeless shelter. His wife, Deanne, four grown children, grandson and more than a dozen friends and colleagues were on hand Saturday to watch him receive his medal.

Stephen Osman
Officer Stephen Osman

“I am honored to receive the valor award,” Cowgill said. “As a police officer, I feel blessed to be trained as an EMT and to be provided the equipment to be able to help a severely injured person. I am so thankful that the victim is doing well and able to enjoy his family. I am also proud I was able to work alongside the Fire Department and paramedics as part of the Ventura County emergency medical team.”

Osman, a former staff photographer with the Los Angeles Times and reserve deputy for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, joined CI’s police department two years ago. 

“This award is not just for me,” he said. “I am accepting this award for every police officer who has trained and prepared to react in such a situation. I thank all my instructors, training officers and colleagues for their support. It’s uncommon to be faced with this type of emergency (thankfully) in our job, and it’s an honor to be recognized for saving someone’s life.

"Throughout my law enforcement career, I’ve been told that in a crisis one will revert back to their most basic training, which is exactly what happened with this incident. The EMT program here at CIPD prepared us for handling such a crisis.”

— Nancy Gill is the director of communication and marketing for CSU Channel Islands.

 

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 using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • 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 >

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.