The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District has conferred on Engineer-Paramedic Dave Manzeck the 2010 Governor’s Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor for his actions in saving the life of 74-year-old Janet Hogan near Walnut Creek on April 11, 2010. The award ceremony was held Sept. 14 at the State Capitol.
The Governor’s Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Review Board reviewed 38 nominations for the award.
The dramatic rescue was a result of a vehicle accident in which Hogan’s car went off the road and landed in a rain-swollen flood control canal. Her car was swept three miles downstream from where it crashed, killing her husband and son. The car eventually turned upside down. Hogan battled a powerful 20 mph current in the rain-swollen canal in Walnut Creek, managing to grab onto a rock and hold on. After spotting Hogan, Manzeck was lowered to her from a California Highway Patrol helicopter and, on the second attempt, pulled the unconscious woman from the water.
Manzeck suffered a dislocated shoulder and torn ligament during the rescue and at one point was underwater for 10 seconds.