Spirit of Courage Awards

On Thursday, May 15th the Burn Institute  recognized the positive people that make a difference in the lives of others as we celebrated 13 local heroes at the 42nd Annual Spirit of Courage Awards Banquet

Each year, the Burn Institute pays tribute to individuals in the community who have risked their lives in an effort to save another from burn injury or death by fire. Over the past four decades, nearly 675 local heroes, including civilians, fire service and law enforcement professionals, have been honored with the highly-coveted award.

This year’s banquet was held at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay in the Bayview Ballroom.  Our emcee for the evening was Broadcast Journalist Bridget Naso (NBC 7 News). The evening began with a reception followed by a delicious dinner and then the presentation of awards . Spirit of Courage 2014  was hosted by San Diego City Firefighters Local 145 and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Tribe.

The Burn Institute’s 2014 Community Hero Award was presented to American Medical Response and the  Pamela R. Kelly Volunteer of the Year Award went to Retired Fire Chief Scott Walker.  The San Diego County Fire Chiefs’ Association  honored  2-1-1 San Diego with their Maltese Award and UC San Diego Regional Burn Center awarded their Excellence in Healthcare Award to respiratory therapist Brenda McFarland.  Congratulations to this year’s Spirit of Courage Award Winners:

  • Civilians John McKeithan and Danny Del Villar who rescued Danny’s grandmother from her burning home.
  • Civilians Andy Maffia, John Shearin and Matt Shearin who saved an elderly woman from the second story window of her home which was on fire.
  • Civilians Jose Gracia, Jorge Del Valle and George Carbajal who saved a woman from a burning yacht.
  • Civilain Lacy Lawrence who rescued an infant and his mother from an automobile which was moments from igniting.
  • Sheriff’s Deputies Devin Kusler, William Beers, Cassey Hawkins and Ben Shea for saving an unconcious man from a burning attic.

Top: Bridget Naso, George Carbajal, Jose Gracia, Jorge Del Valle, Jerry Davee


Bridget Naso, Andy Maffia, Jerry Davee, Matt Shearin, John Shearin


Bridget Naso, Lacy Lawrence, Jerry Davee

Danny Del Villar, Grandma Manuela and John McKeithan

Danny Del Villar, Grandma Manuela and John McKeithan





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