NBC4's The Challenge, an interactive show covering local sports hosted by veteran Sports Anchor Fred Roggin, kicked off after Sunday Night Football on September 13, 2015 - it's tenth year on the air. For the second year, The Challenge will feature a local "Hero of the Night" each week to salute the men and women across Southern California who serve and protect the community.
On September 20, the show honored Sergeant Scott Baker, who began his career with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in 1987 and is currently assigned as the Special Events Sergeant in North Operations. Sgt. Baker has been awarded “Deputy of the Year” in 2005 and “Distinguished Deputy” in 2015.
In October 2014, Sgt. Baker and his family attended a birthday party for one of the players on his youth baseball team. What should have been an enjoyable day quickly turned into near tragedy when a young boy was getting out of the pool and grabbed one of the support legs of a canopy, not knowing there was an exposed wire. The child was electrocuted and unable to release his grip. Sgt. Baker ran to his aid and forcibly removed his grip, causing himself to be shocked and thrown to the ground. After regaining his senses, he performed CPR until emergency personnel arrived.
After nearly a week in a coma, the boy was awakened by doctors, and one month after the accident with no apparent lasting effects, the boy returned to the baseball field with his team. It was the extraordinary courageous actions of off-duty Sergeant Baker that saved this child’s life.
Watch Sgt. Scott on The Challenge.
L.A. County Sheriff Department's Deputy Jason James Flores recently graduated from the Sheriff’s Academy and put his newly learned life-saving skills to use. While on his way home from work in September 2015, he came upon a vehicle that had crashed into the center divider on the 210 freeway. The driver was unresponsive and not breathing, prompting the deputy and a passerby to spring into action.
Deputy Flores forced entry into the vehicle to unlocked a door and performed CPR with the driver eventually gasping for air. California Highway Patrol and Rescue Personnel arrived shortly after to render medical aid and transport the driver to a hospital. Once at the hospital, the driver was rushed into emergency surgery, and is listed in stable condition.
Deputy Flores learned basic CPR training through his family, but he credits the majority of his life-saving skills and techniques to the Sheriff’s Academy Recruit Training Program.
Watch Sgt. Flores on The Challenge.
Master-at-arms First Class Christopher Noeth is the Senior Sailor of the Year at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach in Orange County. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, MA1 Noeth has served in the Navy for sixteen years and previously stationed in many diverse locations including Bahrain, Japan, Afghanistan, and at sea aboard the guided missile cruiser USS Thomas S. Gates.
At Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach he is the Leading Petty Officer for the Harbor Patrol Unit, where he supervises and executes water and land based anti-terrorism and law enforcement duties. MA1 Noeth is routinely responsible for the protection of over one billion dollars in assets and hundreds of his fellow Sailors.
Watch Master-at-arms First Class Noeth on The Challenge.
Irwindeal Police Corporal Armando Lopez proudly served in the United States Marine Corps for ten years and was honorably discharged as a Sergeant. He started his career at the Irwindale Police Department as a Reserve Officer in 1985 and became a full-time officer in 1988. He is currently a supervising a supervising Corporal with a total of 30 years of dedicated law enforcement service. Corporal Lopez is married with six children, the youngest being 12-year-old twin boys. He holds a Master's Degree in public administration from California Baptist University.
Watch Corporal Lopez on the The Challenge.
Fire Engineer/Paramedic John Miller, Fullerton Fire Department joined the Fullerton Fire Department in 2004. He is a Fire Engineer, Paramedic, member of the Urban Search & Rescue Team, as well as a SWAT Paramedic. In 2012, John brought “Pinktober” to the Fullerton Fire Department to honor a fellow firefighter’s wife who had been battling cancer for 10 years. John had a friend design a t-shirt and sold them at the fire station to raise money for cancer research in her honor. He also gave shirts for firefighters to wear while on-duty during the month of October. A new shirt is designed every year for the public to purchase in support of cancer awareness.
Since 2012 the Fullerton Firefighters Association has raised and donated well over $50,000.
Each year the Firefighters Association picks an individual and organization to sponsor – this year’s honorees are Fullerton Fire Captain Brandon Coatney’s 15 year old daughter Brynn and the Rady Children’s Hospital of San Diego. John was chosen as Firefighter of the Year in 2013 because of his work on the Pinktober campaign.
Watch Firefighter Miller on the Challenge.
Technical Sergeant Doug Bailey serves in the California Air National Guard at the 147th Combat Communications Squadron in San Diego. He recently returned home from a 6 month deployment to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti where he deployed as a resource advisor and supply manager with the communications directorate in support of Combined Joint Task Force- Horn of Africa. In August 2015 he was awarded the “Twice a Citizen” Award by the National Defense Industrial Association San Diego Chapter for his dedication to duty in both his military and civilian career. He brings the same level of professionalism and compassion to both his civilian and military careers. In his civilian career, Bailey is also a 911 operator and dispatcher for the California Highway Patrol in San Diego County.
Bailey is actively involved and volunteers at the California wolf Center in his off time. The sanctuary is a non-profit education and conservation center focusing on the North American Gray Wolf, located in Julian, California. While deployed at Camp Lemonnier he spent off-duty hours volunteering at the USO and communications tent where personnel from all branches of the service stationed at the Camp went for morale-boosting activities.
Watch Technical Sergeant Bailey on The Challenge.
Firefighter Paramedic Robert Davidson and Captain Parademic Mark Mollet are both from the Orange County Fire Authority. Davidson and Mollet resuscitated a pulseless woman and after eight rounds of defibrillation and continuous CPR finally were able to revive a normal pulse. Today the woman is alive and well and able to see her three daughters give birth because of the heroics of these two men.
Watch Captain Parademic Mollet and Firefighter Paramedic Davidson on The Challenge.
Deputy Nathan Sims began his career with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department in January 2012. After graduating from the academy he was assigned to the West Valley Detention Center where he spent nearly two years. In December 2013 he was assigned to the Victorville City Police Department were he remains today. Deputy Sims is an active member of the department’s recruitment program and routinely attends community events to talk about the opportunities offered by the department to new employees.
Watch Deputy Sims on The Challenge.
PFC Jesse Hernandez of the 1-160th Infantry Battallion has been a member of the Cal Guard for one year and is employed as a custody assistant for the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department. He was on his way to work at the North County Correctional Facility in October 2015 when he came upon a burning charter bus blocking two lanes of the 60 Freeway. Without hesitating, PFC Hernandez ran towards the bus and observed several passengers kicking the exit door which was stuck and had trapped everyone inside the vehicle. He was able to force open the door handle, allowing the 41 passengers and driver to escape. PFC Hernandez then entered the smoke-filled bus to make sure no one was left behind. PFC Hernandez has been recognized by Sheriff Jim McDonnell for his heroism.
Watch PFC Hernandez on The Challenge.
Deputy Eric Nava joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in 2007. On November 16, 2015, the Industry Station desk received a 9-1-1 call from a frantic mother who pulled to the side of the road in La Puente after she looked back and saw her baby was unresponsive.
Deputy Nava arrived in a matter of seconds to find a 7 month-old child laying lifeless in a car seat. He sprang into action and began life saving procedures until the baby's chest began to rise and fall and his skin color began to change. Paramedics arrived shortly thereafter and the boy began to show signs of life; he began to make vocal noises and move his body. Deputy Nava has since visited the boy in the hospital and has been in contact with the family to see how the baby was doing.
Watch Deputy Nava on The Challenge.
Huntington Beach Fire Captain Marty Ortiz joined the joined the fire department 22 years ago and held the positions of Firefighter, Paramedic, Fire Inspector, Hazardous Materials Specialist and currently a Fire Captain for the past 12 years. He is active with the fire association and the annual “Great Balls of Fire” charity golf tournament as event chairman. The charity event has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to benefit local charities in thecommunity.
Watch Captain Ortiz on The Challenge.
Pear Harbor Survivor Neal Jones was aboard the USS West Virginia when it was hit on December 7, 1941. Jones was a seaman second class and holds the distinction of being awarded the most battle stars among Pearl Harbor survivors.
Watch Pearl Harbor Survivor Jones on The Challenge.
Firefighter Cameron Fuentes is an advisor for County of Los Angeles Fire Department Explorer Post 13 who dedicates every Sunday training young adults ages 15 to 21 years of age. Explorers are taught basic firefighting skills, proper use of firefighting tools and equipment, leadership, teamwork and decision-making. In addition to the weekly training Firefighter Fuentes and Post 13 explorers volunteer at several community events including serving food to families of disabled children and cancer survivors, teaching community CPR, and distributing toys for Christmas.
In May of this year two explorers from POST 13 - William Rodriguez and Henry Adams - were driving home when they witnessed a serious vehicle accident. They quickly pulled over to render aid, pulling two victims from the vehicle at which point the fire department arrived.
Explorer William Rodriguez and Explorer Henry Adams exposed themselves to a dangerous environment. Their extensive POST 13 Explorer training allowed them to perform these heroic actions and save the lives of two teenagers.
Watch Firefighter Fuentes and Explorers Rodriguez and Adams on The Challenge.
When Fontana Police Officer Domenic Ancona received the call of a child drowning, he rushed into action. First on the scene, Officer Ancona performed CPR and revived the young boy before paramedics could arrive. He is the only reason the youngster is still alive. For that, Officer Ancona is our Hero of the Night.
Watch Officer Ancona on The Challenge.
San Bernardino Police Department Officer Shaun Sandoval ha been with the department for over 13 years and assigned to patrol in the Northeast District. On the day of the tragic San Bernardino shooting, Officer Sandoval was part of the first unit on the scene and entered the building and conference room to search for the suspects and help evacuate the victims and render aid.
San Bernardino Police Department Officer Brett Murphy has been with the department for more than seven years, assigned as a motor officer in the traffic division. On December 2nd, he was also one of the first officers to arrive at the scene to joine Officer Sandoval and others to form the first 4-man entry team into the building. He helped search the interior of the building, locating victims who were escorted outside and then later assigned search the entire city for the suspects. When officers engaged in a final shootout with the suspects, Officer Murphy was present during the last shots being fired.
Watch Officers Sandoval and Murphy on The Challenge.