Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

 

 

Optimist Club Honors City Firefighter and Policeman

Perris Valley Optimist Club President Mark Yarbrough presents a standing plaque to Firefighter Steve La Grande for his efforts in saving a child who nearly drowned
Perris Valley Optimist Club President Mark Yarbrough presents a standing plaque to Firefighter Steve La Grande for his efforts in saving a child who nearly drowned.

The Perris Valley Optimist Club honored a City firefighter for helping save a drowning victim and a police officer who for years has worked to instill discipline, character and physical fitness into teen-agers participating in the department’s Explorers Program.

Firefighter/paramedic Steve La Grande and Officer Quinton Giallorenzo received plaques for their commitment to the City’s youth during a recent award ceremony at the American Legion Post in Perris.
Optimist President Mark Yarbrough, who presented the awards during the “Respect for Law” ceremony, hailed the pair as unsung heroes who make Perris a place to live.

“These guys make a difference,” Yarbrough said. “Our public safety employees put it on the line every day and are pleased and proud to acknowledge the efforts they make on behalf of our City.”

La Grande is assigned to Perris Station No. 1 in Downtown.

Perris Police Officer Quinton Giallorenzo beams as he receives his plaque during the “Respect for Law” ceremony
Perris Police Officer Quinton Giallorenzo beams as he receives his plaque during the “Respect for Law” ceremony.

A little more than a year ago, he responded to a call at A Street and Nuevo Road about a girl who was not breathing after she fell into a wading pool at the residence. La Grande and fellow paramedics suctioned water out of the lungs of the toddler, who was unresponsive and without a pulse as they worked to revive her. The victim was transported to a local hospital where they later learned she had recovered.

“We had a really good outcome,” he said.

Giallorenzo joined the Perris Police Department after serving eight years with the Marines, where he was an instructor in an assault amphibious training school. As the advisor to the Perris Police Explorers, he helps train and organized activities for youth between 14 and 21 years old. Police Explorers support law enforcement efforts at sobriety checkpoints and special events like the Southern California Fair, Rods and Rails festival and the annual appearance of Thomas the Tank Engine at the Orange Empire Railway Museum.

Once a year, Explorers attend a 5-day “academy” at the Ben Clark Training Center, where they learn more aspects of law enforcement.

Giallorenzo says most Explorers don’t end up as police. They joined the Explorers to develop discipline, self-esteem and teamwork.

“I am very honored to receive this award,” he said. “It lets me know that people in Perris appreciate what we do.”
Yarbrough said Optimist Clubs are involved with helping out needy families at Thanksgiving and sponsoring youngsters for the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.