Lifeguard Captain Patrick O’Neill received a Medal of Valor at the 2018 California Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Awards ceremony on Wednesday, December 5th at the Marine’s Memorial Club & Hotel in San Francisco.
O’Neill was part of a group of rescuers honored for its heroic efforts during a March 2014 incident which included members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Malibu Search and Rescue Team: Jack Garden, David Katz and Thad Woodward, M.D.
The Medal of Valor recognizes individuals for acts of personal valor or heroism which result in the saving of a life under extreme conditions and/or in extraordinary circumstances.
O’Neill was honored for his efforts in helping to rescue four stranded hikers in Malibu Creek State Park. The rescue was a nine-hour mission performed by the Lifeguards’ Swift Water Rescue Team, Malibu Search and Rescue, and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.
During the incident, the rescuers were working in cold and rainy conditions in the dark of night with limited light from their helmets and flashlights. They managed to safely retrieve the hikers.