May 6, 2021
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 SC public safety heroes of the year

  • Cristina Montoya receives the Public Safety Hero Award from Rep. Mike Thompson.

February 22, 2019

Rep. Mike Thompson announced his recipients for the Fifth Congressional District’s Public Safety Hero Award. Each year, Thompson honors law enforcement officers and first responders in our community who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. For Sonoma County, Cristina Montoya, Cotati Police Dispatcher and Clerk, and Santa Rosa Fire Captain Don Ricci have been selected.

“In our district and across our state, this year has been a challenging one for our law enforcement and first responders. From devastating fires to tragic incidents, our men and women have responded to countless incidents, putting their life on the line to keep us safe,” said Thompson. “That’s why I am again humbled to present my annual Public Safety Hero award to our local champions and honor the courageous service they preform day in and day out. It is a distinct honor to represent so many dedicated and heroic public servants.”

Each year, Thompson honors one local law enforcement officer and one local first responder from each county with the Public Safety Hero award.

Cristina Montoya’s dogged and dedicated work as a police dispatcher was critical to apprehending a suspect who had stolen a shotgun and assaulted family members. She connected the dots between the two crimes and her hard work was recognized with a “Standing Ovation” by the City Manager.

Sonoma Fire Captain Ricci’s quick thinking and heroic actions saved the life of one resident. He entered a home on fire despite great risk and his chief determined his work saved the life of an individual trapped inside and highly commended his service as a whole.

“It is an honor to recognize Dispatcher Montoya and Captain Ricci as Public Safety Heroes for Sonoma County,” said Thompson. “Their quick thinking under pressure and dedication to their job in the face of danger saved lives. They are true heroes and it is my honor to join them in bettering the lives of people across our county.”

In additions to the 10 honorees from each of the counties Thompson represents, Thompson also honored entrepreneur and celebrity chef Guy Fieri with a special Public Safety Hero award in honor of his work to provide meals and support during the recent fires.

“Guy is a hometown hero – both for his support of our economy in starting businesses right in the heart of our district and for his humanitarian work to provide food to first responders and fire survivors,” said Thompson. “Fieri’s work has been exceptional and instrumental to helping our local public servants and facilitating evacuations during our community’s many recent fires. It’s my honor to recognize his work today.”

Heroes of the Year for the 5th Congressional District are Cristina Montoya, Cotati Police Dispatcher and Clerk and Guy Fieri, Celebrity Chef and local second responder.