Humanitarian Award

This Award recognizes employees who engage in life-saving efforts, whether for residents, visitors, or team members. Below are courageous and selfless acts by employees of the City of San Antonio.

Phillip Garcia

Center City Development & Operations
On Monday, May 15, 2023, while eating lunch in the afternoon at 2:15 PM, Phillip acted valiantly and without hesitation to aid a patron dining at Luby's Cafeteria. As he proceeded to depart the establishment, he was asked by a customer to help a patron struggling to breathe. He immediately went to the woman's aid attempted to dislodge an item stuck in her throat. He quickly started performing the Heimlich maneuver until she dislodged the object. During this time as other people witnessed his assistance, a nurse came over and took over rendering assistance at which time EMS was sought.

Kenneth Cordes

Development Services
On July 13, 2023, Kenny, a Sr. Plumbing Inspector was assisting with plumbing inspections at Holmes High School. Kenny arrived at the job site and witnessed a young woman leaning against the building in the sun in 100-degree weather. He thought she was just resting. After he completed his inspection, he noticed that the young woman was still there. He yelled numerous times to see if she was okay with no response. As he got close, he noticed she did not look well and gently shook her shoulder to see if she would respond. She then partially came to and gasped for air. He immediately reached out to SAPD who transferred him to SAFD. He stayed with her making sure she was awake while waiting for SAFD to respond to the scene. The paramedics told Kenny that if he hadn’t stopped the young woman would have passed away within 15 to 30 minutes.

Homeless Division Team

Department of Human Services
The Homeless Division, presently led by Ms. Kathy Lacy includes three primary programs: Homeless Outreach, Encampment Abatement Coordination, and the Homeless Connections Hotline. This program went from 3 to 28 individuals during the peak of the COVID pandemic and despite many challenges, they always stayed focus on our goal to make homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring. Their jobs aren’t easy, and every day is a new adventure as they assist many individuals experiencing a crisis in their lives. This team is often subjected to negative media attention, community complaints, having to respond to a high number of households in need, and work to connect clients to services/programs that are often already overwhelmed.

Melissa Villarreal

On June 22nd, 2023, while moving through the PSAP lobby, Ms. Villareal came upon a co-worker in medical distress; pale, clammy, and losing consciousness. She quickly recognized the severity of the situation and summoned help as her co-worker begin faint and slide into the floor. At that point, Ms. Villareal immediately secured the employee’s airway and began administering sternum rubs which ultimately revived him. Ms. Villareal’s quick and decisive actions lead to this situation having a positive outcome, which the employee, his family, and the Unit greatly appreciated.

Jose Sanchez, Brandon Smothers, & Ramiro Martinez 

Solid Waste Management
On October 4, 2022, The team assisted an elderly resident that had fallen. They helped her back into her house & the resident later contacted the department and stated she had suffered a minor stroke & wanted to let them know how much she appreciate their help.

Mark Diamond

On March 28, 2020, Mark Diamond provided life-saving efforts for an unresponsive airline employee. He quickly went into action and checked vitals, contacted Airport Integrated Control Center, and applied the Automated External Defibrillator.

JoAnn Fry

Animal Care Services
On February 23, 2020, JoAnn Fry calmly coordinated information between an onsite Animal Care Officer and the 911 Dispatch team during the aftermath of multiple gunshots near Benavidez Park.

Amanda Ehlers

Solid Waste Management
On October 2019, Amanda Ehlers was driving along her route and noticed a resident who was unresponsive in their driveway. Amanda stopped and rendered aid and called 911. Unfortunately the resident passed away but the spouse was so appreciative that Amanda took the time to stop.