News Releases

Governor Honors Three Ironwood State Prison Employees

Pictured left to right are Correctional Sergeant John Bradley, Registered Nurse Mayra Mora and Correctional Lieutenant Heriberto Mora from Ironwood State Prison

Mayra Mora, Heriberto Mora, John Bradley among 33 honored in annual Governor’s State Employee Medal of Valor ceremony

Governor Gavin Newsom honored three Ironwood State Prison (ISP) employees with the Silver Medal as part of the Governor’s State Employee Medal of Valor virtual ceremony. They were part of a heroic rescue of two adults and two children involved in a rollover vehicle accident. Newsom honored Mayra Mora, a registered nurse (RN), Heriberto Mora, a correctional lieutenant, and John Bradley, a correctional sergeant. The governor honored a total of 33 state employees for bravery.

On the morning of Feb. 4, 2021, Lt. Mora and his wife, RN Mora, encountered a car crash on their way to work. Trained emergency first responders, the Moras pulled their vehicle over to the shoulder. They ran across the freeway to the mangled truck that had rolled over into a ditch.

The driver was bleeding profusely from the head and RN Mora treated the wound using her husband’s sweater. She then assisted a woman who had been ejected from the vehicle. RN Mora kept her stationary to avoid aggravating internal or neck injuries. A young girl was outside the truck. Lt. Mora attended to and calmed her. She did not know if the woman had been ejected from the vehicle or if a responder had taken her out.

Sgt. Bradley, also on his way to work, stopped to lend aid to the crash victims. Lt. Mora searched the vehicle and saw an infant still in a car seat. With Sgt. Bradley’s assistance, the two broke open the rear passenger window. They undid the car seat’s harness, and got the baby out safely. They stayed with the victims until firefighters and paramedics arrived. Emergency responders airlifted the two children to a nearby hospital with moderate injuries. All survived because of the quick action taken. Several other prison employees also stopped to help with bottles of water and blankets for the victims.

Secretary joins Governor in applauding heroes

“On behalf of our department, we thank Governor Newsom and our colleagues at the California Department of Human Resources for honoring our staff,” said Kathleen Allison, Secretary, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). “The actions and bravery of Lt. Mora, RN Mora and Sgt. Bradley helped save the lives of an entire family. The fact that they were able to react as quickly as they did, and work as a team to assess the situation truly shows their resolve and selflessness. We are so very proud of them.”

The Silver Medal is awarded for an act of heroism by a state employee extending above and beyond the normal call of duty or service performed at personal risk to his or her safety to save human life or state property.

CDCR honored RN Mora, Lt. Mora and Sgt. Bradley at the department’s 37th Medal of Valor ceremony.

The California Department of Human Resources sponsors the Governor’s State Employee Medal of Valor Award. The employee’s department makes the award nominations. The statewide Merit Award Board reviews the nominations. The Director of CalHR selects the awardees. Since the program began in 1959, over 700 state employees have received Medals of Valor.