Two Montgomery County Public School fifth graders, Alanna Miller of Rock Creek Forest Elementary School in Chevy Chase and Daceris Mendez of Rock View Elementary School in Kensington, received the 2013 American Automobile Association School Safety Patrol Lifesaving Award at an AAA Safety Patrol Awards luncheon May 30.
The AAA School Safety Patrol Lifesaving Award is the highest award given to members of the AAA School Safety Patrol. Recipients of the award are school safety patrol officers who have saved the life of a person while on safety duty. Each year, a National Review Board selects award winners from the nominated candidates.
This year, the Montgomery County Police Department announced the names of the two winners and gave summaries of the two students’ life-saving actions in a press release.
About Alanna, the release read:
“Students who want to be a school safety patrol officer are asked to write a brief paragraph explaining why they would like to be part of the program. Alanna wrote, ‘. . . because I care about safety. Sometimes people can get hurt and while I’m on Safety Patrol, I won’t let that happen....’
About 9 a.m. Nov. 21, 2012, the day before Thanksgiving break, Alanna was at her assigned safety patrol post at the corner of East-West Highway and Grubb Road.
“A Montgomery County Police crossing guard was at the opposite corner. As the crossing guard prepared to enter the street to allow the children to cross, she observed a large truck enter the intersection. The truck was driving against the red signal and was traveling in the direction of the crosswalk. A third-grade student saw the pedestrian walk signal and started to walk in the crosswalk. Alanna realized that the crossing guard had not given the OK to cross. She saw the approaching truck and immediately stepped into the crosswalk, grabbed the arm of the young boy, and pulled him to the curb just as the truck drove past the crosswalk. The crossing guard stated that if not for Alanna’s quick actions, the young boy would have been struck by the truck,” the press release stated.
The press release described Daceris’ heroic action:
“On December 10, 2012 at approximately 3 p.m., Daceris was at her assigned post at the Rock View Elementary Kiss and Ride parent pick-up area. Daceris observed a kindergarten student dart from the curb into the school’s drive and into the path of a moving car. Daceris immediately used both hands to grab the child around the waist and pull him back to the sidewalk. A teacher who witnessed this event stated that had Daceris not acted, the child’s feet would have been run over by the car.”
Each girl received a plaque commemorating her award.