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Transportation Security Administration

DHS Valor Awards recognizes five TSA employees

Tuesday, May 17, 2016
TSO Justin Sawhill, from Pittsburgh International Airport, holds his award and is joined by (from left) Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary Jeh Johnson and Administrator Neffenger on Friday, May 13, 2016, in Washington, D.C.

Five TSA employees were honored by the Department of Homeland Security at an awards ceremony on May 13 in Washington, D.C. Secretary Jeh Johnson and Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas awarded employees from across the country with the Secretary’s Award for Valor.

Among the recipients were Gloria Betts, a Transportation Security Officer from Jacksonville International Airport, who provided assistance to a Florida Highway Patrol trooper who had been shot and stayed with him until help arrived; and Justin Sawhill, a Transportation Security Officer from Pittsburgh International Airport, who saved a woman and her four children from a house fire.

Also recognized were two employees from the Office of Law Enforcement/Federal Air Marshal Service who provided emergency medical assistance to a passenger needing resuscitation on an airplane, and another who pulled a police officer from his car, just prior to fire erupting, after it crashed during a high-speed chase.

The Secretary’s Award for Valor is the highest recognition for extraordinary acts of bravery that occur on or off-duty. All of the recipients performed courageously in a highly dangerous or life-threatening situation to protect another’s life or to save significant assets or infrastructure from harm.