The Medal of Valor is the Department’s highest award, earned by employees distinguishing themselves by conspicuous bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of correctional service.
The employee shall display great courage in the face of immediate life-threatening peril and with full knowledge of the risk involved.
The act should show professional judgment and not jeopardize operations or the lives of others.
2023 Medal of Valor recipient
Lt. Larry Faria, Central Selection Center, Office of Peace Officer Selection
On July 7, 2022, during his commute to work, Lt. Larry Faria witnessed a dramatic collision involving a Toyota Prius and a semi tractor trailer. Swiftly responding to the situation, Lt. Faria stopped to provide aid.
He discovered a father and young child inside the Prius. The vehicle, spewing smoke and flames, had become entangled beneath the semi-truck.
Lt. Faria swiftly retrieved his personal fire extinguisher from his vehicle and began extinguishing the flames.
Despite his efforts and with the use of two fire extinguishers, the flames persisted.
Realizing the gravity of the situations, Lt. Faria made the critical decision to extract the passengers from the vehicle. He resourcefully used the base of the fire extinguisher to shatter the windshield. He managed to safely remove the young child from the perilous situation. The adult male passenger remained trapped inside the vehicle.
In a courageous attempt to free the pinned passenger, Lt. Faria ran to his vehicle to retrieve tools for the rescue effort. Tragically, as he approached the Prius, the vehicle suddenly burst into flames.
With no additional fire extinguishers on hand and no motorists stopping to aid, the father was unable to be saved and died on-scene.
Lt. Faria’s immediate and selfless actions saved that young girl’s life.
Despite the devastating outcome for the adult passenger, Lt. Faria’s bravery and willingness to intervene in such a harrowing scenario underscore his profound, unwavering commitment to helping others in times of dire need, even when his own safety is at stake.