A 16-year-old Newport Beach police explorer was honored July 21 for saving the life of a child.
Newport Beach Police Department Explorer Sgt Michael Valadez received the Life Saving Award from the Boy Scouts of America and the Orange County Law Enforcement Explorers Advisors’ Association at the Annual Gold Awards Ceremony at Irvine Regional Park in Orange.
Valadez saw his neighbor running and screaming from her home while holding her child, according to a police statement. The child was choking and Valadez’s explorer CPR training kicked in.
“Using both chest and back thrusts, he forced the object out of the child,” the statement read.
The Orange County Fire Department’s Paramedic Unit transported the child to the hospital, afterwards crediting Valadez for saving the child’s life.
Two other NBPD explorers received gold awards for their service.
Explorer Captain Melinda Green, 17, received a gold award for her outstanding leadership and commitment to the city, the police department and the explorer program.
Green has helped the program excel in providing education, training and teamwork, said Sergeant Lloyd Whisenant, Explorer Post Advisor.
Explorer Sergeant Giovanni Almaraz, 17, received a gold award for his dedication to the explorer program.
Giovanni volunteered more than 500 hours to provide training, conduct community service projects and other charity work, Whisenant said.
“The Newport Beach Police Department is exceptionally proud of each of these outstanding explorers,” Whisenant said.
The explorer program is open to young adults between 14 and 21 years old. Anyone interested should contact Sergeant Lloyd Whisenant at 949-644-3665.