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Sheriff’s Office honors employees for work during Thomas Fire, mudslide

Posted at 7:02 PM, Apr 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-12 22:29:08-04

First responders who jumped into action during the Thomas Fire and Montecito debris flow were recognized by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office during the 2018 Recognition Awards program Friday.

The sheriff’s office gave out several awards including the Medal of Valor, Medal of Courage and Sheriff’s Lifesaving Award.

The Medal of Valor was given to six members of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and Fire Air Support Unit for their response to the debris flow.

The six recipients are:

  1. Sheriff’s Special Duty Deputy and Pilot George Deluca
  2. Santa Barbara County Fire Pilot Matthew Udkow
  3. Santa Barbara County Fire Captain Glen Dupont
  4. Santa Barbara County Fire Captain Thomas Wade
  5. Santa Barbara County firefighter paramedic Bruce Meyer
  6. Santa Barbara County firefighter paramedic Brice Wible

One of the medals of Courage was given to Custody Deputy Zachary Salce. His girlfriend, Maddison Henslin, received the Exceptional Civilian award. They were given these awards because they rescued a woman trapped in an apartment fire in Lompoc and pulled her out to safety.

The other Medals of Courage were given to:

  1. Brian Dickey
  2. Dan Nelson
  3. Deputy James Furber
  4. Deputy Mark Riggar
  5. Deputy Michael McNeil

A Distinguished Service Medal was given to former Undersheriff Bernard Melekian.

Village Cheese and Wine Shop in Montecito was recognized with the Certificate of Merit Award for giving out free sandwiches to fire and mudslide victims.

Two people were killed in the Thomas Fire of December 2017 and 23 people died in the Montecito Debris flow that followed in January of 2018.