Lodi, California; Today, California Operation Lifesaver hosted a special event with Amtrak Police Department (APD) and were joined by the Federal Railroad Administration to recognize Lodi Police Officer, Erika Urrea.
The recognition of Officer Urrea was for her commitment to community safety and her heroic actions that saved a man’s life from being hit by an oncoming train.
California Operation Lifesaver (CAOL) Board Member, Steve Walker recognized Officer Urrea with a CAOL plaque in honor of her commitment, dedication, and heroism. Nancy Sheehan-McCulloch, Executive Director with California Operation Lifesaver, expressed her gratitude, “Officer Urrea, California Operation Lifesaver values all the work you and your fellow officers do to keep our communities safe. We are grateful for the support you and your Department provides to help raise rail safety awareness.”
Amtrak Police Captain Douglas Calcagno presented Officer Urrea with the Amtrak PD “Life Saving Medal.” Recognizing that as the crossing gates were coming down, Officer Urrea, a 14-year veteran of the force, saw a man in a wheelchair stuck on railroad tracks. Urrea exited her patrol car and ran to assist, only seconds before the train arrived. She pulled the man out of the chair falling backwards and away from the oncoming train.
“This incident had the makings of a double tragedy had it not been for the extraordinary courage and quick actions of Officer Urrea,” said Amtrak Police Chief Sam Dotson. “The citizens of Lodi are very fortunate to have a public servant like this on duty in their community.” The ‘Life Saving’ medal recognizes her bravery in saving a life without hesitation for her own safety.”
Safety Specialist Joe Petito, Grade Crossing Inspector Eric Walker, and Signal Inspector Jason Evans with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) were there to honor Officer Urrea and Mr. Petito presented her with a plaque recognizing her heroism and bravery. “Officer Urrea’s actions reflected well on the Lodi Police Officers Training and her preparedness to jump into action instinctively” acknowledged Safety Specialist Joe Petito.
Lodi Police Chief Sierra Brucia called his officer a true hero. “Officer Erika Urrea displayed courageous and selfless behavior by rescuing a citizen from the path of a train at great risk to herself,” said Brucia. “This act was not done out of duty as an officer; she was compelled to respond because bravery and compassion are a part of her character. The Lodi Police Department is extremely proud of Erika and her heroic actions that day.”
Rail Safety Week 2020, observed in U.S., Canada, and Mexico, was Monday, September 21 – Sunday, September 27.
The 11th annual September Rail Safety Month 2020 in California closes out on Wednesday, September 30th. This recognition epitomizes our critical efforts to raise rail safety awareness and Save Lives.
About California Operation Lifesaver, Inc.
California Operation Lifesaver is a non-profit safety education and awareness program dedicated to ending collisions, fatalities, and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and on railroad rights of way in the State of California. We are committed to raising rail safety awareness to change dangerous behaviors to help save lives. Follow CAOL on: Facebook Instagram, Twitter Blog
About Operation Lifesaver, Inc.
Operation Lifesaver is a nonprofit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and preventing trespassing on or near railroad tracks. A national network of trained volunteers gives free presentations on rail safety and a public awareness campaign, “See Tracks? Think Train!” provides tips and statistics to encourage safe behavior near the tracks. Learn more about Rail Safety Week; follow OLI on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.