Definitely Dual-Heroes in Public Service!


Toks Talks Transportation blog logoSafety is not just part of our Core Four priorities, it’s our top focus and responsibility.

Those of us privileged to work in transportation are well-acquainted with the fulfillment, reward and ongoing contributions that come with serving in the industry. Our safety efforts focused on preventing injuries and deaths is the most important part of what we do. As it’s the people of California nearly 40 million of themwho are on the receiving end of our work, there’s no shortage of opportunities to help keep all people safe and improve quality of life in California.

Every one of us in this line of work adds value, whether behind a desk or on the front lines. Some roles within the CHP and Caltrans are potentially hazardous by nature, and to opt-in to such a career choice is remarkable. I consider anyone who chooses to embrace such a positionto willingly risk their own safety to be of service to others on a daily basisto be a hero.

I’m not someone who tosses the word hero around lightly. Being open to the possibility of danger on any given day describes a person seemingly of a different sphere, as taking on potential threats requires a unique bravery. Knowingly welcoming a precarious unknown is heroic in and of itself.

And sometimes, that heroism gets multiplied even further.

Being presented with an extremely high-risk, real-time situation and making a split-second decision to move toward terrifying danger in order to save someone else’s life defines pure heroic action. This is valor.

I refer to those individuals as dual-heroes: By nature of their career choice they are already heroic;

…and to then risk their own life in a potentially deadly situation, to place themselves in direct perilidentifies them again as a hero, now exponentially.

Since joining the California transportation team in 2019, there is one specific day on the June calendar I look forward to, a day that uniquely highlights the importance of safety and recognizes those who have acted with unbridled selflessness. This is when we honor and celebrate deserving individualsour dual-heroesfrom our teams. This event is the esteemed Governor’s Medal of Valor ceremony, where recipients receive the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a state employee.

So this June, I had the tremendous honor to read the mind-blowing stories of 21 dual-heroes: 10 from CHP, 11 from Caltrans. These courageous individuals took their responsibilities to a whole other level without regard for their own safety and made literal life-changing differences for others. I strongly encourage you to read the stories of these public servants who are role models for bravery and selflessness; their actions move us to be better and are nothing short of astonishing. Every year that I’ve attended this distinctive event, my reverence for our transportation family continues to expand, as I am in complete awe of the self-sacrifice on the part of these individuals. It is a true honor to be shoulder to shoulder in our transportation work with real life dual-heroes, our unflinching Medal of Valor recipients.

Image of the group of the Medal of Valor recipients

Medal of Valor Awardees




Brian Rubalcava Silver

Ryan Ayers – Gold

Jason Lofton Silver

Eric Jorgensen – Gold

Jeremy Maraviov Silver

Kenneth Weckman Gold

Scott Davidson Silver

Steven Strobel Gold

Nicholas Macias – Silver

Aaron Adair Gold

Robert Hernandez Silver

Jeremy Welch Gold

Roberto Lopez Gold

Troy Wiltshire Gold

Cody Collins Silver

William Fitzgerald Silver

Jeffrey Scardine Silver

Christopher Williams Silver

William Miller Silver

Kasey Simas Silver


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