FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – It was a day of pride for the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office honoring the actions of deputies and celebrating new careers ready to begin.

Smiles and tears could be seen throughout the Fresno County Sheriff’s office swearing-in and promotion ceremony Thursday. 

Sheriff Margaret Mims told stories of heroic acts performed by deputies and correctional officers. 

Sheriff Deputy Joseph Ruiz and his partner Tate Anderson were deputies honored at the ceremony for their acts of selfless bravery.

Ruiz and Anderson ran into an active shooter scene without backup, knowing lives were on the line.

“Everybody could see our lights coming if we left them on and I thought about it for a little bit and I said I think we should go with our lights on to bring his attention back towards us,” said Deputy Ruiz. 

The two distracted the shooter, giving a mother and son enough time to escape. 

Both received the medal of valor for putting their lives on the line to save others. 

Sheriff Mims says their action goes beyond the call of duty.

“Their decision to take immediate action and their initiative to protect life possibly saved the lives of a mother and her son,” she says.

While the ceremony kicked off the start of new careers, it was a bittersweet moment for Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims who will be stepping down from her role as one of the valley’s top cops next year after 42 years in law enforcement. 

“I got a little emotional and I just wished them all a happy healthy long career as happy as mine has been,” said Sheriff Mims. “I’m uplifted and knowing that there’s gonna be people following and take our places and I think that’s important,” she continued.