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Contact: Jennie Kish Albrink, 760-367-5520
JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, Twentynine Palms, California –
On July 11, 2011, Joshua Tree National Park employees Jeremie M. Johnson and Danielle L. Sandoval were traveling through the park to a trail project site with a Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) crew when they noticed smoke. Upon investigation, the two discovered a plane had crashed, ejecting the pilot and igniting a brush fire. Keeping the YCC crew at a safe distance, they calmly assessed the scene, contacted dispatch to expedite rescue personnel and proceeded to assist the pilot. They extinguished the resulting brush fire, so they access and provide aid to the severely injured man. They instructed the YCC crew on how to direct incoming rescue personnel.
Johnson and Sandoval’s quick, decisive action prevented a loss of life and protected park resources.
Johnson and Sandoval traveled to Washington D.C. today to receive the Citation for Valor award at a ceremony held to honor Department of Interior employees. They were nominated for the award by co-worker and Trails Supervisor, Chris Rodriguez.
Other awards presented today include:
--42 gold Distinguished Service Awards;
--19 Occupational Safety and Health Awards of Excellence;
--21 Valor Awards, including a posthumous award to Margaret Anderson, the park ranger shot and killed in Mount Rainier National Park on January 1, 2012;
--3 Citizen's Awards for Bravery.
Joshua Tree National Park honors the bravery and dedication of these men and women.