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Sheriff honors officers with awards

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera County Sheriff Tyson Pogue presents special awards to recipients from left, Life Saving Medal to Deputy William Vander Poel, and Commendations to Sgt. Matthew Kutz, Deputy Jonah Graves, Deputy Daniel Grever, Deputy Joseph Wood and Deputy Jose Garcia during the Madera County Sheriff’s Office Swearing-In, Promotions and Awards Ceremony on June 29.


The Madera County Sheriff’s Office recognized Deputy William Vander Poel, Sergeant Matthew Kutz, Deputy Jose Garcia, Deputy Jonah Graves, Deputy Daniel Grever, Deputy Joseph Wood, and Deputy Eric Jackson. They were awarded the Madera County Chairman’s Culture of Excellence Award this past week.

In addition, Madera County Sheriff Tyson Pogue honored the officers at the annual awards ceremony on June 29 at Madera South High School.

The Madera County Sheriff’s Office dispatch center received multiple 911 calls reporting a shooting in the 24000 block of Ingomar Drive on March 10.

Preliminary information indicated that one female had been shot multiple times. A vehicle that was involved crashed a short distance from the shooting scene, directly in front of a neighboring residence. Information provided by 911 callers reported that the male suspect responsible for the shooting was last seen disappearing behind a residence, armed with an assault rifle.

Deputy Vander Poel was the first deputy to arrive on scene. Vander Poel immediately removed his medical bag from his patrol vehicle and began rendering aid to the female shooting victim that was in the front yard of the residence.

Vander Poel’s initial assessment of the victim confirmed that she had been shot multiple times, with gunshot wounds to her neck, hand, torso and thigh. He successfully applied a tourniquet and quickly bandaged other wounds she had sustained in order to slow bleeding.

During this time, Sergeant Matthew Kutz and Deputies Graves, Grever, Wood and Garcia arrived in the area. Due to the unknown location of the armed suspect, Sergeant Kutz quickly formulated a “rescue plan” for the injured victim and Deputy Vander Poel, who was still with the victim in the front yard continuing to render medical aid and protect her.

Madera County Fire Captain James Kirkman and Fire Apparatus Engineer Nick Parker were returning to the Rolling Hills area in Engine No. 9 after routine training, when their engine was struck by a vehicle who failed to stop at a stop sign in the area of Road 36 and Ave 13.5 in Madera County on Jan. 31.

The impact occurred below the passenger front door where Captain Kirkman was sitting. Engineer Parker was unable to maintain control of the engine. The engine eventually rolled onto the drivers side and coming to rest in a vacant field. While working to extricate themselves, Kirkman used the engine radio to call in the accident to the local dispatch center.

Madera County Sheriff’s K9 Deputy Jackson had been traveling behind the fire engine and witnessed the accident. Deputy Jackson assisted Kirkman and Parker by breaking the front window of the fire engine and helped them out of the engine.

Once extricated from the fire engine, Kirkman, Parker, and Jackson began to render aid to the civilian vehicle. The occupant was pinned in and required the Jaws of Life to free him from the vehicle.

Kirkman, Parker, and Jackson worked together to use the Jaws of Life equipment and remove the civilian from his vehicle, after which he was transported via helicopter to an area hospital.

Parker and Kirkman, who sustained a dislocated shoulder, went to the hospital via ambulance.

“This group of deputies all showed tremendous courage and selflessness, going above and beyond the call of duty to serve and protect,” Pogue said. “We applaud the quick call to action and bravery by the deputies. These men are a true example of the dedicated and talented team we are proud to have at MCSO.”



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