American Legion honors local first responders for heroism

On March 28, the Renton American Legion Fred Hancock Post 19 honored two area first responders at its annual Law and Order Night. The Post presented Renton Police Officer Matt Traino its Humanitarian and Lifesaving Award, and Don Pederson of Valley Communications its 911 Dispatcher of the Year Award.

Traino, a Marine Corps veteran, was recognized for his bravery in climbing three levels of scaffolding to help resuscitate an injured unconscious construction worker and carry him back down the three levels to safety. He has been selected by the American Legion Department of Washington to receive the Department Humanitarian and Lifesaving Award at its Convention in Kennewick in July.

Pederson, a dedicated employee who has calmly managed many calls over his 23 years at Valley Communications, found himself in an actual physical emergency in which he saved the life of a neighbor by pulling the resident out the window of a burning home.

Renton Mayor Armando Pavone was on hand and made some remarks to the audience. Councilmembers Ed Prince, Kim Khánh Văn, and James Alberson Jr. were present for the event. Also in attendance were a number of officers and personnel from Renton Police Department, including Deputy Chief Jeff Harding, and the department’s liaison to the Legion, Commander Lance Gray. Don Pederson’s colleagues at Valley Comm, Denese Moore, Angee Bunk and Vonnie Mayer (executive director) were on hand for the presentation.