Three freshman students from Santiago High School were honored by the Garden Grove Fire Department today during a special student recognition assembly for their heroic acts of saving a classmate from drowning. Garden Grove Fire Chief Tom Schultz awarded freshmen Angelo Mendoza, Daniel Gomez, and Cristina Contreras with the Fire Chiefs Coin, a special accolade, usually reserved for firefighters that reflects the highest honor for life-saving actions.
Chief Schultz praised the students for their quick action which saved the life of Christopher Tran, a high-functioning student with autism who mistakenly jumped into the deep end of the pool on April 28. The students together rescued Tran from the bottom of the pool and carried him to safety out of the pool. Teacher Shannon Macrill also immediately dashed into action to help the students bring Tran out of the water to safety. Garden Grove Fire Department paramedics Dave Carlson and Grant Noble responded and Tran successfully recovered at an area hospital with no lasting injuries.
The students were honored in front of their classmates and parents at Santiago High School today. Also in attendance were Garden Grove Mayor Steve Jones, Santiago alum and Garden Grove Councilmember Kim Nguyen, and the Garden Grove Fire Department paramedics who responded to the scene. The City of Garden Grove will also honor the students during the city’s Community Spotlight section of their city council meeting next month.
“We are so proud that our students were able to think and act quickly in a split second to prevent what could have been a tragic drowning,” said Walter Muneton, GGUSD Board of Education trustee. “These students are heroes; they knew just how important it was to help and in that instance, their help saved a life.”