Red Cross honors Hometown Heroes | Community Spirit
The American Red Cross honored 10 local heroes at the annual Hometown Heroes luncheon on Wednesday. The awards recognize individuals and organizations that have performed extraordinary acts of service of heroism in the community during the past year.
Heroes awarded included five-year-old Dax Paget who captured hearts this summer after he lead sheriff’s deputies in Oregon to his family car when his dad suffered a stroke on the road. Joshua Gahl, credited for helping police capture Avondre Graham, was also honored.
Here is the complete list of Hometown Heroes from the American Red Cross:
Officer Paul Carpenter: Law Enforcement/Dispatch Hero:
On May 28th, a man was involved in a bicycle/vehicle collision leaving him in life-threatening condition. Along with injuries suffered in the accident, the victim had also suffered a heart attack.
When Officer Carpenter arrived, he took over performing CPR and determined that the male was non-responsive. Because the officer could not detect breath from the male’s mouth or nose and could not detect a pulse, he checked the victim’s airway and began CPR compressions. The male remained unresponsive for several minutes before finally he began trying to breathe on his own.
Officer Carpenter continued with chest compressions until relieved by Spokane Fire Department paramedics. Updates from the hospital went from effectively deceased, to life-threatening injuries, to critical but stable condition. On Wednesday, October 3, 2012, the man called and left a message stating that he wanted Officer Paul Carpenter to receive a lifesaving medal for saving his life.
Senior Airman Cory Dilport, Senior Airman Anthony Fischer, and Senior Airman Caleb Williams: Fire Safety Hero:
Senior Airman Cory Dilport, Senior Airman Anthony Fischer, and Senior Airman Caleb Williams were swimming in the Spokane River in August when they noticed smoke coming from a large brush fire. The fire was spreading quickly and was above the tops of the trees as they reached the shore and they saw a woman and her two small children, both under the age of ten, frantically trying to put the fire out.
The men moved the family to safety, called 911, and began fighting the fire while they waiting for emergency crews to arrive. When fire crews got on scene, the fire had already been completely extinguished thanks to the bravery and quick thinking of the three Senior Airmen.
These three airmen helped save the lives of the family directly involved with the fire and helped prevent the fire from doing too much damage from the surrounding area. They showed initiative and bravery and were able to provide assistance in an emergency situation.
Jason Cole: Water Safety Hero:
Jason Cole followed his instincts on January 27th and bolted out onto the frozen Spirit Lake just as an 8 year old boy fell in. Jason was at the Spirit Lake's Winter Fun Festival when he saw a young boy hitting the ice with a baseball bat. That’s when he knew something bad was about to happen.
The boy fell into five feet deep water and kept bobbing in and out of the frigid water. Jason didn’t hesitate and jumped right into the water to save the boy. Once Jason pushed the boy back up onto the ice, he left the scene soaking wet and not looking for any recognition or praise.
The community later found out about the incident by word of mouth. Jason was extremely humble through the whole ordeal and has been described as having an others-before-self mentality in life. He didn’t take the time to set his ipod or cell phone aside before jumping in after the boy; he simply went into the lake without hesitation. If Jason hadn’t sensed the boy was in danger, the 8 year old would have drowned.
Dr. Spencer Wirig: Community Partner Hero:
Dr. Spencer Wirig of Lakeview Dental in Coeur d’Alene is using his talent and passion for dentistry to make an impact in the community. He has provided four football teams in the Coeur d'Alene, Rathdrum, and Post Falls areas with custom fitted mouth guards free of charge.
As a dentist, he not only know the value of having nice teeth, but also the safety risks involved in not having proper protection in physical sports, like football.
"There are some studies that are compelling that show that certainly a mouth guard, a professionally fitted one, has some protection against head injuries," Dr. Wirig said.
The mouth guards are form fitting and don’t inhibit the players from yelling audibles, but are there to protect them when they are hit. This small piece of equipment can impact the safety of sports players in a big way and Dr. Wirig’s contribution will without a doubt make a positive impact on our local teams this season.
When 9 year old Kellen Flanigan saw his neighbor walking around in the rubble of his home that had burned down, it made him want to take action to help. His neighbor, Thomas Tyrrell, lost all his belongings including his 3 cats in a fire that he found when he came home from work.
Kellen decided to make a collection jar and go door to door around his neighborhood encouraging people to donate money to Tyrrell to help him through this difficult time. His mom even helped him create an online donation spot for people to help the cause. Kellen is an inspiration to those in his community and he has been able to raise over $1,000 dollars to help his neighbor.
Even though he is only 9 years old, he is helping not only Tyrrell, but he is inspiring other people in our community to be proactive and help others who are victims of disasters like home fires.
Joshua Gahl: Humanitarian Hero
While at work, Joshua Gahl heard a woman screaming and went outside to make sure that one of his residents from Maplewood Gardens Assisted Living Facility hadn’t fallen. To his shock, he found a beaten woman, bloodied and screaming. She told Gahl that the man walking down the path away from them had just attacked her.
Gahl called 911 and yelled for a co-worker to take the injured woman inside and then took off after the attacker. Gahl caught up to the man and tackled him into the river. As the assailant made a break for the other side, Gahl met him there and nearby residents helped direct police to the street they had gone down and the assailant was quickly taken into custody.
Gahl’s actions helped to capture a violent offender and helped save the woman who was attacked and any other persons who may have been future victims of this man’s criminal actions.
Dax Paget: Youth Humanitarian Hero
Five-year-old Dax Paget was traveling through Oregon over the summer with his dad when his dad suffered a stroke while driving and needed help. Luckily, Dax was up to the challenge.
He was able to unlock his dad’s cell phone and call his mom who was in Spokane at the time. Using Spokane 911, she was then able to then get in contact Oregon State Police. Once police were notified of the emergency, Dax’s help was needed once again to provide crucial details about where the car was located so that responders could find them and transport Robert Paget to the hospital.
Dax did a great job and the description he gave helped responders get to them and provide help for Mr. Paget. Dax displayed incredible courage and composure during the ordeal.
Michelle Loucks: Workplace Safety Hero
Michelle works in the Volunteer Services Department of the Spokane Police Department. While on the job in August, Michelle came to the rescue of her co-worker who had started choking on her food.
Michelle was able to stay calm and take action right away. She performed abdominal thrusts on her co-worker and was able help the person to begin breathing again, saving their life. Michelle saved her co-worker and also inspired Spokane Police Department to recognize the importance of life-saving techniques like the Heimlich maneuver.
Since this incident, Spokane Police Department has scheduled CPR training for their non-commissioned officers and volunteers to ensure that each of these individuals are up to date and know life-saving skills.
Staff Sergeant Krystle Debiase and Senior Airman Kelly Gorham: Military Hero
SSgt Krystle Debiase and SrA Kelly Gorham were stuck in traffic in Northern California in August when a passerby came to their car to ask if they had any medical supplies with them. There had been a serious car accident and there were 8 victims ̶ 2 adults, 3 children, and 2 infants ̶ who needed medical attention.
SrA Gorham took her deployment kit forward to the accident and became the first responder on the scene with medical training. She used her EMT training to assist the victims by using unconventional, but innovative methods. She used an absorbent diaper to stop bleeding and was able to hold the C-Spine of one victim and direct another bystander to hold the C-Spine on another victim until local EMS could arrive.
SSgt Debiase was in the car with her two young children and as she inched up in traffic she could see her help was needed as well. She ensured her children were safe and then joined in the efforts to provide medical care by triaging the injured parties, splinting victims’ limbs and stabilizing victims so they would not go into shock.
Both women stayed on the scene for 40 minutes aiding the injured and ensuring the victims taken care of until more help could arrive.
Dr. Alyson Roby: Medical Hero
Dr. Alyson Roby is a family practice physician who has performed CPR a number of times, but none of those times would be as scary as the day she performed CPR on her husband after he collapsed.
Dr. Roby could sense something was off when the couple shared an embrace. As she pulled back from the hug to ask her husband if he was alright, he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest. Dr. Roby yelled for a friend to dial 911 and began doing chest compression. She continued for seven minutes until emergency personnel arrived.
Rescuers then performed an additional 45 minutes of CPR and utilized a defibrillator a dozen times to try and revive Tim Savatieff, Dr. Roby’s husband.
Mr. Savatieff survived but suffered eight broken ribs as a result of the chest compressions, stitches in his tongue, collapsed lungs and pneumonia. Despite his injuries and some permanent damage to his heart, he made a full recovery thanks to his wife who knew exactly what to do.