March 24, 2021 — The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission today announced that 18 people will receive North America’s highest honor for civilian heroism for risking their lives for others in peril.
Among those to be awarded the Carnegie Medal is Michael Robert Keyser, to become only the sixth person in the 117-year history of the Hero Fund to receive a second Carnegie Medal. Keyser received the Carnegie Medal at the age of 19, when he went to the scene of a Feb. 25, 1990, one-vehicle accident in which the car had left the highway and hit a utility pole; flames broke out at the front end of the car. Risking electrocution, Keyser reached through the driver’s window and pulled the 37-year-old driver to safety. Thirty years later, he is being recognized posthumously for again going to the aid of a motorist. Keyser approached an overturned tractor-trailer at night and attempted to break the windshield to pull the man from the cab, when another semi-truck careened into the overturned truck which hit and killed Keyser and the driver of the first semi.
“The 30 years between the two acts bear witness to Michael Keyser living his life as a hero, always willing to help his fellow man. We are honored to count Mr. Keyser among these latest esteemed heroes and the newest member of the small grouping of double-awarded Carnegie heroes,” Hero Fund President Eric Zahren said.
More information about the five previous double-awarded Carnegie heroes can be found on our website.
The Carnegie Medal is given throughout the U.S. and Canada to those who enter mortal danger while saving or attempting to save the lives of others. With this first announcement of 2021 recipients, a total of 10,220 Carnegie Medals have been awarded since the Pittsburgh-based Fund’s inception in 1904. Commission Chair Mark Laskow said each of the awardees or their survivors will also receive a financial grant. Throughout the 117 years since the Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, more than $42 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.
The awardees are:
- Norman Tanner Olsen, Salt Lake City, Utah
- Christopher Etre, Upton, Massachusetts
- Andrew J. Sullivan, Enfield, Connecticut
- Kendall D. Flowers, deceased, Miami, Florida
- Christian Alexander Burgos, deceased, Miami, Florida
- Jonathan A. Hudash, Williamson County, Texas
- Michael Robert Keyser, deceased, Hesperia, California
- John A. Franco, Willington, Connecticut
- Jonathan L. Goldfarb, Fairfield, Connecticut
- Matthew Goldfarb, Howell, New Jersey
- Shawn H. Turner, Boca Raton, Florida
- Mark S. McAuliff, Milford, New Jersey
- Lyle Berglund, Roy, Utah
- Bradley Jay Berglund, Syracuse, Utah
- Jonathan Wiese, San Diego
- Kinzo Heath Mihara, Hauser, Idaho
- Rafael A. Rodriguez, Henderson, Nevada
- Lester Robert Taber, Jr., Winchester, Massachusetts
To nominate someone for the Carnegie Medal, complete a nomination form online or write to the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, 436 Seventh Ave., Suite 1101, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. More information on the Carnegie Medal and the history of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission can be found at carnegiehero.org. Follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/carnegiehero and Twitter: @carnegie_hero.