CYFD’s Castillo a Hero for Actions in Fire Incident

09.03.2009

LAS CRUCES -- A CYFD employee has been labeled a hero for his quick thinking and calm response to an emergency situation in the Las Cruces Child Care Services field office last week.

On Wednesday at noon, CYFD employee Leonor Ledesma discovered smoke coming through a vent in the women’s restroom. Immediately seeking help, she came upon Sam Castillo, child care eligibility interviewer, who was leaving the office for lunch. Castillo ran to the reception area, located near the front of the office, to retrieve a fire extinguisher. As he entered the smoke-filled restroom, flames had already engulfed the vent and burning ceiling tiles were falling to the floor. Sam used the fire extinguisher to successfully put the fire out before firefighters arrived. Sam remained calm the entire time, even as he inhaled smoke and chemical vapors from the fire extinguisher. As soon as he put the fire out, he proceeded to assure that the building was evacuated until fireighters arrived and declared the building safe to re-enter. In addition to inhaling smoke and chemical vapors, Sam received a slight shock as he left the bathroom and turned the light switch off.

Sam genuinely cares about his colleagues and his clients. Because of who he is, he placed the safety of others before his own. Sam is considered a hero everyday to his fellow co-workers because he is always willing to lend a helping hand.