Los Alamos Safety Association Honors Local Heroes

A group shot of the heroes honored at the LAPSA annual awards banquet held May 10 at La Mesita Restaurant in Pojoaque. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

LAPSA members fill La Mesita Restaurant for the May 10 banquet. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

From left, Los Alamos Police Cmdr. Oliver Morris, Donna Martinez of LANL’s PS-1, Det. Joseph Robinson, Espanola Deputy Police Chief Miguel Maez and LAPD Det. Daniel Roberts. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com


Los Alamos Daily Post

It takes a community to save a life … that was the theme throughout the May 10 awards ceremony hosted by the Los Alamos Public Safety Association (LAPSA) at La Mesita Restaurant in Pojoaque. The event was scheduled to take place at the Manhattan Project Restaurant but La Mesita opened its doors to LAPSA after the local eatery unexpectedly closed down.

Two groups were honored at the annual banquet:

  • The 2014 Community Service Award went to law enforcement individuals involved in Operation Genesis, which removed drugs and drug traffickers from the community;
  • The 2014 Life Saving Award went to individuals involved in saving a child’s life who nearly drowned at Barranca Mesa Pool including LAFD, LAPD, Barranca Pool staff and chaplains.

LAPSA President and LAFD Deputy Chief Justin Grider served as emcee of the awards banquet and described the day the community rallied to save the child’s life.

“On June 6, 2014, the Los Alamos Dispatch Center received a 911 call for a pediatric patient that had potentially drowned. Upon arrival, LAFD found the patient receiving CPR from Barranca Pool staff. LAFD crews took over care of the patient while LAPD secured the scene and began their investigation,” Grider said. “After 24 minutes of CPR and Pediatric Advanced Life Support efforts, the patient regained a pulse and began to take gasps.”

Grider explained that a helicopter had been requested and the patient was transported with lights and sirens to Los Alamos Medical Center. Chaplains were dispatched to the hospital and stations in order to assist the family and responders, he said.

LAFD, LAPD and the chaplains remained at the hospital to assist the family as the patient was prepared for the flight to a hospital in Albuquerque, Grider said, adding that two weeks later, the patient and his parents walked into the Los Alamos Fire Administration Office to thank everyone for their efforts.

“The Barranca Mesa Pool lifeguards and staff did an excellent job in their efforts to resurrect the young man and transfer the patient to EMS and Fire. Fire and Police worked cohesively to ensure there was a positive outcome,” Grider said. “Our dispatchers and chaplains worked tirelessly and endlessly to ensure everyone was taken care of. It takes a community to save a life … it was proven on that day.

Those involved:

911 Dispatch:

  • Roberto Lujan
  • Kate Stoddard
  • Susan Feiertag

Barranca Pool Employees:

  • Nolan Bell
  • Travis Richens
  • Emily Hopkins
  • Janali Gustafson
  • George Steinkamp
  • Melanie Colgan

Los Alamos Police:

  • Jaime Gonzales
  • Miguel Maez (now Espanola deputy chief)
  • Ben Irving
  • Ben Heinrichs
  • Joseph Robinson
  • Preston Ballew
  • Jason Herrera

Los Alamos Chaplains:

  • Jeff Eichorst
  • Jennifer Bartram

Los Alamos Firefighters:

  • David Apodaca
  • Justin Cassel
  • Josh Cooper
  • Joe DeFranco
  • Ray Gandara
  • Richard Garcia
  • Manfred Hermann
  • Wendy Servey
  • Zachary Shriver
  • James Thwaits
  • Benjamin Stone
  • Donna McHenry

The Los Alamos Police Department was honored with the Community Service Award for its achievements in removing drugs from the streets of Los Alamos through Operation Genesis.

The LAPD’s Investigations Division had been investigating illegal narcotics trafficking and distributing cases since October of 2014 throughout Los Alamos County. The detectives and officers conducted hundreds of hours of surveillance and specialized investigations on local drug dealers. As part of Operation Genesis, LAPD detectives and specialized officers began executing warrants in January throughout Los Alamos and White Rock, arresting eight people and confiscating guns, cash, drugs, paraphernalia and cell phones.

Detectives also worked with undercover detectives from the Espanola Police Department and conducted joint operations within the Espanola city limits related to these cases. They arrested a dozen people related to illegal narcotic sales.

The detectives seized quantities of the following illicit drugs:

  • Methamphetamine;
  • Heroin;
  • Cocaine;
  • Controlled Prescription Medications;
  • Marijuana Wax; and
  • Marijuana. 

LAPSA President/Deputy Fire Chief Justin Grider congratulates Consolidated Dispatch Center Supervisor Kate Stoddard. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

LANL Physical Security Division Leader Mike Wismer is a longtime member of LAPSA. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

From left, Kateri Morris with her husband LAPD Cmdr. Oliver Morris and Det. Daniel Roberts with his wife Kim Roberts. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Donna Martinez of LANL’s PS-1. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

SOC leader Jack Killeen, right, congratulates LAPD Det. Joseph Robinson. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos Fire Chief Troy Hughes with his wife Jody Hughes. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

From left, Los Alamos Fire Chief Troy Hughes, Cmdr. Oliver Morris and LAPSA President/Deputy Fire Chief Justin Grider. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

LAPSA thanks La Mesita owner Sean Ewy for opening his doors to the group on short notice after the Manhattan Project Restaurant closed down. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

La Mesita staff prepare food for the LAPSA banquet. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com


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