Deputy Santino Westwood

On August 9, 2012 you were dispatched to a welfare check on a Virgil House at 5100 N. Hwy 99 E. Frontage Road. You have received information that Virgil House wanted to end his life and was currently at the end of a dirt road near Correira Road and Eight Mile Road.

When you arrived at that location you found Mr. House in grave condition. He had cut his wrists so deep that his tendons were exposed and he was losing blood rapidly. You as the first responder acted without hesitation. You had the foresight to recognize his grave condition, rush to your patrol vehicle to retrieve tourniquets that you carry, and place them above Mr. House’s injuries to halt the flow of blood out of his body. Once you accomplished this, you noticed that Mr. House was losing consciousness and possibly further fading away. You then moved his massive body to a location away from his vehicle so that you can begin performing CPR to continue to try and save his life. All the while you were alone and medics had yet to arrive. Your efforts kept Mr. House breathing and alert, until medics and other deputies ultimately arrived. Once they did arrive you continued to assist and direct your efforts in order to save Mr. House’s life.

Deputy Yourdon arrived and assisted you in this incident. He was so impressed by your actions that he took the time to nominate you for the San Joaquin County Deputy Sheriff’s Association Honor Coin. Your actions on that day in August were nothing short of heroic and well above and beyond what is normally expected of a deputy sheriff. As a law enforcement officer we are trained from early in the academy to protect and preserve all life, regardless of any misguided intentions. You upheld that belief, and your actions are an exemplary example of a deputy in this association.

On September 12th of this year the Deputy Sheriff’s Association Board of Directors voted unanimously to award you an honor coin for your life saving efforts. It is the honor of this association to award you Honor Coin #13 and present you with this letter of appreciation.

Remember these brief words by Arthur Ashe, “True heroism is remarkably sober, very un-dramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever the cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost”.


Vice President Ryan Biedermann