Each year, the Veterans of Foreign Wars honors a law enforcement officer, fire fighter and emergency medical technician (EMT) to receive the VFW National Gold Medal Award. Post 9934 nominated the following individuals for these awards in 2017.
LAW ENFORCEMENT AWARD
Sheriff’s Deputy Zachariah Scott is a Patrol Deputy assigned to Dana Point Police Services. His previous assignments included to the Orange County Theo Lacy Facility.
Deputy Scott has been specially cited for police actions involving shots fired incidents in the city in which he assisted in apprehension of the suspects, and responding to a burglary in progress which also resulted in apprehension of the suspect after an extended vehicle pursuit. He has been very proactive in searching for and arresting subjects for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI). In 2015, arrested 32 subjects for DUI, led Dana Point Police Services in DUI arrests and achieved the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) Award in 2015.
Deputy Scott is a volunteer puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) and currently raising puppy number 5. CCI is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN AWARD
Reserve Officer Jason Smigel is a Reserve firefighter with the Orange County Fire Authority.
In 2016, just short of three years with the department, he was promoted to the position of Senior Reserve Officer for the reserve program at station 7. He has provided guest EMS instruction at OCFA Reserve Academy, and served as wildland fire instructor at OCFA explorer academy He has also participated in numerous community outreach programs such as CERT training, smoke detector installation events, and assisted in multiple DUI scene reenactments for the “Every 15 Minute” program.
FIRE FIGHTER AWARD
Fire Captain/Paramedic Justin Neville is currently assigned to fire station 30 in the City of Dana Point.
He has also served over 8 years on California Task Force 5, one of 28 National Urban Search & Rescue specialty task forces, and is a 2016 Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Mobex drill evaluator (Medical Section)
Caaptain Neville is a San Clemente Little League Baseball coach and an AYSO soccer coach
The above nominations by Post 9934 were submitted to VFW California District Two which includes 19 Posts located in Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Each of the nominees were also selected as First Place winners in their respective categories for the District competition and were forwarded for participation in the Department of California competition.
Deputy Scott has subsequently be selected for the State Law Enforcement Award for 2017 and is now in competition for the VFW National Gold Medal Award. Reserve Officer Smigel and Captain Neville were both runners up in the Department of California competition.