Palmdale Volunteers Honored by Board of Supervisors


Numerous volunteers from the Palmdale Sheriff's Station were recognized by Supervisor Mike Antonovich and the Board of Supervisors for their efforts during the Powerhouse Fire. The awards presentation took place yesterday, Tuesday, April 22, in the Board of Supervisors hearing room at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration.

The Powerhouse fire burned over an eleven day period starting on May 30, 2013. The fire started at Hydroelectric Powerhouse No.1, in San Francisquito Canyon, just north of Santa Clarita. The flames quickly spread due to Santa Ana winds, high temperatures and dry brush. It burned over 33,000 acres and destroyed 53 structures as it moved through the communities of Green Valley, Leona Valley, Elizabeth Lake, and Lake Hughes. It would take over 2100 fire fighters from 40 agencies to finally contain the blaze which threatened thousands of homes and displaced over 2000 citizens.

The volunteers were commended for their assistance with evacuations, road closures, and reconnaissance efforts.

Sheriff's Reserve Commander John Johnston and Reserve Deputy Andrew Petty of the Antelope Valley Search and Rescue team were responsible for the coordinated evacuation of Green Valley. Due to poor radio communications in the mountainous area, they established a make-shift command post on the hood of their rescue truck on the side of the roadway. The main command post sent patrol personnel from throughout Los Angeles County to Commander Johnston for deployment. Problems arose when the responding deputies started getting lost on the mountain roads. Commander Johnston assigned Volunteer on Patrol personnel who live in the area to act as guides for the deputies to keep them from getting lost.

All of the volunteers had been working non-stop for three days prior to this incident. The Volunteer on Patrol personnel live in the affected areas, so they knew the area well. They didn't know if their own houses were in peril as they guided the deputies and went door to door conducting evacuations.

In spite of the loss of property and charred landscape, through the actions of the below listed volunteers, there was no loss of life:

Reserve Commander John Johnston

Reserve Captain Robb Thompson

Reserve Deputy Andrew "Goose" Petty

Reserve Deputy Jeff Godde

Reserve Deputy Trevor Samoriski

Civilian Volunteer Specialist Chris Neil

Volunteer on Patrol Joe Brong

Volunteer on Patrol Mike Foxworth

Volunteer on Patrol Gene Heintz

Volunteer on Patrol Robin Kennard

Volunteer on Patrol Jay Tallent

Volunteer on Patrol Debi Tallent

Volunteer on Patrol Frank Toothaker

Volunteer on Patrol Dick Zahnter

Volunteer on Patrol Susan Zahnter

Palmdale Sheriff's Station provides policing services for over 750 square miles, stretching from Santa Clarita to the San Bernardino County Line and from the Angeles National Forest to Avenue M. Palmdale Sheriff's Station has 157 volunteers. They each donate their time to the Sheriff's Department for the betterment of the citizens in our local community. Palmdale station has numerous volunteer outreach opportunities;

Law Enforcement Explorer Program (for young adults, ages 15 to 21)

Station Volunteers including front desk and clerical work

Volunteers on Patrol

Antelope Valley Mounted Posse

Antelope Valley Sheriff's Clergy Council

Antelope Valley Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Disaster Communications Specialists

Antelope Valley Search and Rescue

Sheriff's Reserve Deputy Program

For more information on any of these programs visit, or contact Deputy Jodi Wolfe at 661-272-2420.

Thank You From the Community
Thank You From the Community

Night Operations
Night Operations

Volunteers Receive Awards
Volunteers Receive Awards

Volunteer Dick Zahnter
Volunteer Dick Zahnter

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