FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Loudoun County, VA (October 2, 2020) - Twenty members of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) were among those recognized Friday at the 2020 Annual Valor Awards ceremony held at the National Conference Center in Lansdowne, Virginia. This year’s awards recognized the heroic actions of 92 first responders and 17 civilians.
Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman and members of the LCSO leadership team and command staff were among community and business leaders in attendance today. “I am proud of the members of the Loudoun Sheriff’s Office, and all of the first responders and civilians who were honored today for their heroic actions and the lives they saved,” said Sheriff Chapman.
Among those recognized from the LCSO was Deputy First Class Steven Epple who received the Stu Plitman First Responder Community Service Award which recognizes those emergency first responders who demonstrate the highest commitment to fostering positive relationships with the Loudoun County community in ways that positively enhance the safety and security of our citizens. As a School Resource Officer (SRO) with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy First Class (DFC) Epple serves as a protector, mentor and teacher to the students at Stone Hill Middle School. His commitment to the Loudoun County community and his schools’ students and staff expands beyond the traditional role of an SRO. Through innovative and interactive programs, DFC Epple believes in the mindset of “prevention through education” and has found new ways to foster relationships and positive interactions with his school community, all with public safety and public safety education in mind.
Deputy Brandon McGhee received a Lifesaving Award for his efforts assisting two civilians who were also recognized with the Meritorious Civilian Award. Deputy McGee responded to a man who was in cardiac arrest at a rock climbing facility. Two employees, Aylie Giblin at Mela Coffee, found the man unconscious. They immediately began to perform CPR, taking turns delivering chest compressions. Deputy McGhee arrived and found the man had no pulse. He began to deliver CPR and after approximately 30 compressions, the man began to gasp for air. The quick thinking and swift actions of Ms. Giblin, Ms. Coffey, and Deputy McGhee were critical in saving this man’s life.
Deputy First Class Christopher Robinson received the Lifesaving Award when he responded to a report of an attempted suicide. A woman was sitting in a car with a razor blade. Deputy Robinson was the first to arrive and quickly located the vehicle, where he found the woman bleeding heavily from a deep cut on her left wrist. DFC Robinson swiftly secured the razor blade and placed direct pressure on the wound until rescue personnel arrived and took over treatment. The woman was taken to the emergency room where she was stabilized. DFC Robinson’s quick response and first aid care saved this woman’s life and allowed her to make a full recovery.
Sgt. Nicholas Gordon, Sgt. Patrick Hannan, Deputy First Class Chad Neff, Deputy Robert Capella, and Nurse Nenita Gonzales received the Lifesaving Award after an inmate was discovered unresponsive at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center. The inmate had a self-inflicted wound and DFC Neff applied pressure to the wound using a towel, while Sergeant Gordon directed Central Control to have medical personnel respond. Nurse Gonzales soon arrived and began providing medical assistance to the inmate. Sergeant Gordon and Deputy Capella assisted by securing the inmate’s arms. Meanwhile, Deputy McNeely and Deputy First Class Benjamin Pickett ran to retrieve an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and an oxygen tank at the request of Nurse Gonzales. The team continued to provide treatment to the inmate until rescue personnel arrived and transported the inmate to the hospital, where he was stabilized. The Adult Detention Center deputies and Nurse Gonzales acted quickly and effectively to provide first aid to the inmate.
Deputy Tyler Nichols and Deputy Alexandra Glover received the Lifesaving Award alongside U.S. Customs and Border Protective Agents Clinton Maxwell and Salvador Marroquin. The agents saw a cyclist collapsed on the road and quickly checked the man for a pulse. They began performing CPR. Deputy Nichols arrive on scene and relieved the agents and continued performing CPR. Deputy Glover positioned her cruiser to protect Deputy Nichols and the cyclist from passing vehicles on the busy roadway. They man was transported to a local hospital, where a normal pulse and breathing were established.
Senior Deputy Lyndsey Wilson received the Lifesaving Award for his actions while off-duty. The deputy was inside a Gold’s Gym in Sterling when he witnessed a middle-aged man collapse on the concrete floor next to the swimming pool. SD Wilson rushed to the man’s side and found he was not breathing and had no pulse. He immediately initiated CPR, while a gym employee retrieved the AED. SD Wilson applied the AED to the man and administered one shock. He then continued performing CPR until medical personnel arrived. It was then determined the man’s pulse and breathing had been re-established. The man was transported to a local hospital where he was stabilized and was able to speak to the investigating deputy. Even though Senior Deputy Wilson was off duty at the time of this incident, he acted in an immediate and heroic fashion that exemplifies the values of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and was able to save the man’s life.
Deputy First Class Derek Freeman received the Lifesaving Award for actions after responding to assist fire and rescue with a man who collapsed while running. DFC Freeman was first to arrive and located the man lying on the sidewalk. He quickly searched for a pulse, found none and saw the man’s face was turning blue. He immediately initiated CPR, and medical personnel arrived a few minutes later and requested DFC Freeman continue performing CPR while they attached an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and administered one shock. DFC Freeman then resumed CPR. DFC Freeman performed CPR on the man for approximately six minutes until the man’s pulse was established and he could be transported to a local hospital.
Sgt. Rajesh Kumar, Deputy First Class Adam MacDonald, and Deputy First Class Dustin Woomer received a Lifesaving Award for their actions after an inmate attempted to take his own life at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center (ADC). DFC MacDonald was performing a routine check of a housing unit within the ADC, when he discovered an inmate with a bed sheet tied around his neck. Seeing the inmate was unconscious, DFC MacDonald quickly requested medical assistance and entered the cell to provide aid. Sergeant Kumar arrived next and helped DFC MacDonald remove the sheet from the inmate’s neck. DFC MacDonald, Sergeant Kumar, and DFC Woomer continued to provide aid until medical staff arrived. They discovered that the male was unresponsive but was breathing and had a pulse. The quick and decisive actions taken by Sergeant Kumar, DFC MacDonald, and DFC Woomer’s saved that inmate’s life and allowed him to make a full recovery.
Deputy First Class Devin Mickens received the Certificate of Valor for his actions after he was dispatched to a home where a man was in cardiac arrest. DFC Mickens arrived at the home before medical personnel and found a family member delivering CPR to the man. DFC Mickens found no pulse and took over CPR. The medics arrived and discovered he had a pulse. The man’s pulse and breathing were maintained, and he was transported to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery.
It was on Christman Eve, 2017, when Loudoun County Sheriff’s Deputy Katherine Grimley, Deputy Justin Nyce, and Deputy First Class Timothy Iversen responded to a call of a domestic dispute. When they arrived, they came to the certain conclusion that an adult male in the home was the aggressor in a domestic assault, so the deputies prepared to place him under arrest. As they approached him, the man dove into a nearby closet and produced a handgun. All three deputies advanced towards the man to disarm him, but not before he was able to discharge three rounds, which struck Deputy Grimley and DFC Iversen. To prevent the man from firing any additional shots, Deputy Nyce bravely placed himself on top of the man. Then, with assistance from Deputy Grimley and DFC Iversen, who were suffering from gunshot wounds, Deputy Nyce was able to place the man in handcuffs. Once the man and the weapon were secured, Deputy Nyce immediately utilized a tourniquet to slow the bleeding on Deputy Grimley’s wound. Deputy Hao Lu and Deputy First Class Daniel Clarke were the first backup units to arrive and they quickly rendered aid to the injured deputies. The heroic efforts by Deputies Grimley, Nyce, and Iversen in the face of a deadly threat ensured the suspect was taken into custody without the loss of life. The quick actions by Deputies Nyce, Lu, and Clarke to care for the injuries sustained by Deputies Grimley and Iversen were critical in allowing the two deputies to recover fully from their wounds and return to active duty within a few months’ time. For their actions Deputy First Class Timothy Iversen and Deputy Katherine Grimley received the Silver Medal of Valor. Former Deputy Justin Nyce received the Bronze Medal of Valor. Deputy First Class Clarke and Deputy Lu both received the Certificate of Valor.
The Loudoun County Valor Awards program awards were established by the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the local public safety agencies, to recognize and acknowledge members of the various public safety departments, as well as everyday citizens, who have placed themselves in harm's way over the past year to ensure the safety of others.
Also recognized at the event were members of the Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System, the Virginia State Police, U.S. Customs & Border Protection, the Town of Leesburg Police Department, the Town of Purcellville Police Department and a total of 17 civilians.