BELLFLOWER — Fifteen awards for public safety-related actions and services will be presented at the 21st annual Bellflower BRAVO awards program at 11 a.m. Feb. 5 in the William and Jane Bristol Auditorium, 16600 Civic Center Drive.
Admission is free and open to the public. It will be followed by a complimentary lunch donated by a local restaurant, said Mayor Sonny Santa Ines, in comments at the City Council meeting Jan. 26.
The event will recognize 16 individuals for their acts of valor, heroism and community service in support of public safety in Bellflower, Santa Ines said.
BRAVO stands for Bellflower Recognizes Acts of Valor and Outstanding service.
The keynote speaker will be Michael Cooper, former Los Angeles Laker and current WNBA coach with the Atlanta Dream. Cooper was a five-time NBA champion as a player with the Los Angeles Lakers, and led the Los Angeles Sparks to two WNBA titles as the team’s head coach, as well as coaching the Albuquerque Thunderbirds of the NBA D-League to a championship during their inaugural season.
Honored during the ceremony will be Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies Michael Haak, Gregory Emerson and Philip Muse; ambulance employees Lauren Gross and Laurie Russo; as well as Veronica Gomez, Eduardo De La Cruz, Janet Karen Lucero, Ana Bobadilla-Staple, Madilyn E. Bagley, Steven Dolinger, Kyara Seymoure and La Fonda Riggins for outstanding service; and Lisa Fair for volunteer effort.
Four of the recipients will be honored for coming to the aid of an injured construction worker. On the afternoon of Nov. 10, 2014, a contractor working at the Flamingo Apartments in Bellflower cut his thigh open and called to maintenance worker Eduardo De La Cruz and groundskeeper Veronica Gomez for assistance.
De La Cruz assessed the situation and, upon seeing a large amount a blood, quickly ran to the office to retrieve a safety kit. He notified apartment manager Bobadilla–Staple of the man’s injury and called 911. Bobadilla-Staple rushed to assist the man who appeared to be pale and weak.
At that time, she noticed apartment resident Lucero walking by and asked Lucero, a nurse, for help. Bobadilla-Staple knew Lucero was a nurse and signaled for her to help. The four used supplies from the safety kit to wrap the man’s thigh and applied pressure until medical assistance arrived.
Fair will be honored for calling police upon hearing screams from a neighbor under attack and then volunteering to clean up blood and debris from the incident in the victim’s home.
Heidi and Albert Fernandez will be recognized for their volunteer work as Neighborhood Watch co-captains.
Students Cheyenne Avila of Mayfair High School; and Kimberly Gutierrez of Bellflower High, were selected for best essays on law enforcement and will receive prizes.
Moderating the program will be Daniella Guzman and Whit Johnson of NBC News.