Monday, April 18, 2011

Real Heroes - Richard Cressall

Nominator: Visalia Police Chief Colleen Mestas

On May 23rd Officer Richard Cressall, of the Visalia Police Department, was assigned to the morning shift. During his shift, Officer Cressall spotted smoke coming from a home, so he stopped to investigate.

As he pulled into the driveway it was apparent that the garage was engulfed in flames and there was no sign that the family inside was awake. He hurried to the front door and knocked several times but with no response he entered the home.

As he entered the bedrooms he found the family asleep and unaware of the immediate danger. Officer Cressall evacuated the family of five: one adult and four children, as the fire began spreading from the garage to the rest of the home.

The family was safely evacuated from the home and Officer Cressall reported to work without mentioning his early morning act of courage. This did not surprise his family or fellow officers as many of them would describe Officer Cressall as a humble man.

When his act of heroism came to light, Officer Cressall was honored for his heroism by the homeowner, Denise Mancini, Police Chief Colleen Mestas, and the Visalia City Council.

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