Over the past several months, Woody Smeck, superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, has been kept busy presenting commendations to his award-winning staff for longevity and performing above and beyond the call of duty.
Three Rivers residents may rest assured knowing that the local parks are under the capable care of the following award recipients, many who reside in Three Rivers, as well as so many other dedicated public servants.
Here are those who were honored for the specified years of federal service:
40 Years in Service
30 Years in Service
William “Hopper” Sullivan
25 Years in Service
20 Years in Service
15 Years in Service
10 Years in Service
5 Years in Service
Paul Sheehan received the Employee of the Quarter honor for October-December 2013. He was recognized for his multitasking as he has been doing two jobs over the past year, serving as collateral-duty administrative officer as well as his regular job as supervisory human resources specialist.
Tyler Jacobus was recently presented with the Employee of the Quarter award for January-March 2014 for his role in solving information-technology issues and crises with a calm demeanor and positive attitude.
In addition, the Arrowhead Interagency Hotshot Crew, based in Kings Canyon National Park, along with the Horseshoe Meadows Interagency Hotshot Crew (Sequoia National Forest), received the “Award of Excellence in Wildfire EMS/Rescue” by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group. The award recognizes those who have displayed an act of selflessness and heroism.
The incident occurred on the morning of June 16, 2013, as the Horseshoe Meadow Hotshot crew was hiking with the Arrowhead Hotshots to their assignment on the Big Meadows Fire in a remote area of Rocky Mountain National Park (Colo.) at an elevation of 9,000 to 10,000 feet. Luther Larkin Sr., 51, a member of the Horseshow Meadow crew, began having difficulty breathing and experienced chest pains. An EMT with the crews evaluated him and detected no pulse, then started CPR. A paramedic that was on the fireline arrived within five minutes with an automated external defibrillator (AED). After approximately 10 to 14 minutes with no pulse and applying one shock from the AED, Larkin was resuscitated. Personnel on the two crews carried him about a quarter-mile to a helispot. In just about an hour after he collapsed, Larkin was on a helicopter and on his way to a Denver hospital.