PITTSBURGH, PA, APRIL 24, 2003- In its second award announcement of 2003, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission today named 21 individuals from throughout the United States and Canada as recipients of the CARNEGIE MEDAL. The bronze medal is given to persons who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others. Five of the awardees died in the performance of their heroic acts.
The heroes announced today bring to 40 the number of persons honored in 2003 to date and to 8,706 the total number of persons who have been recognized by the Commission since the Pittsburgh-based Fund’s inception in 1904. Commission President Mark Laskow stated that each of the awardees or their survivors will receive also a grant of $3,500. Throughout the 99 years since the Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, $26.4 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.
The awardees are:
- Brian Brown, Krikfield, Ont.
- Michael K. Daley, Mount Washington, Ky.
- John Cunningham Dailey, Braintree, Mass.
- Mark J. Pentz, Levittown, Pa.
- Jared C. Williams, Ozark, Ala.
- Bernadette Vermaas, Edmonton, Alta.
- Jerome F. Fryer, Hamburg, N.J.
- Nancy Browning, Pensalcola, Fla.
- Robert J. Bonadies, deceased, Vernon, Conn.
- Benny A. Carpenter, Jr., deceased, Toledo, Ohio
- Ian Sean Duffey, deceased, Toronto, Ont.
- Danny Ray Mangum, Durham, N.C.
- Brian Duane Pearson, Hinesville, Ga.
- Lee Peden, Diamond, Ohio
- Ross G. Guy, Perris, Calif.
- Caejar A. Cox, Moreno Valley, Calif.
- Daniel F. Heede, deceased, Barnhart, Mo.
- Dale W. Hicks II, Chattanooga, Tenn.
- Ronald R. Robertson, deceased, Fullerton, Calif.
- John Riordan Collins, Huntington Beach, Calif.
- David G. Brons, Richland, Wash.
Resumes of the acts follow. To nominate someone for the CARNEGIE MEDAL, write the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, 436 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1101, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, or call 1-800-447-8900 (toll free). Fuller information on the CARNEGIE MEDAL and the history of the CARNEGIE HERO FUND COMMISSION can be found at www.carnegiehero.org
Brian Brown saved John P. Boldt and Douglas J. Levean from exposure, Baysville, Ontario, March 9, 2002. At night, Boldt, 64, and his friend, Levean, 61, were ice fishing from a hut on Lake of Bays several hundred feet from shore. It had been raining, and deteriorating weather conditions brought sleet and gale-force winds with gusts of more than 50 m.p.h. Their hut blowing across the ice, Boldt and Levean jumped from it at separate points and lost contact with each other. Rainwater that was pooled atop the ice made footing against the wind impossible. Boldt crawled slowly and with difficulty toward shore, using a chisel to anchor himself to the ice as he rested, and, with equal difficulty, Levean crawled toward the opposite shore. Both men had flashlights with them. Another ice fisherman, Brown, 48, lift truck driver, was at his anchored hut on the lake in that vicinity when he decided to return to shore because of the storm. After retrieving his all-terrain vehicle, which had blown away from the hut, he saw a light in the distance downwind and concluded that it marked a person. Brown drove about 450 feet to Boldt, struggling en route to maintain control of the vehicle in the wind as he steered to avoid fishing holes in the ice. Boldt boarded the vehicle, and as Brown drove to shore he saw the dim light from Levean’s flashlight. After settling Boldt on shore, Brown returned onto the lake, but in a borrowed snowmobile, which afforded better traction. He drove to Levean, who was much farther out than Boldt had been, then took him aboard and returned him to shore. Boldt and Levean were treated at the scene for exposure to the cold, and they recovered.
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Michael K. Daley
Mount Washington, Kentucky
Michael K. Daley rescued Sandra L. Rodriquez from burning, Jeffersontown, Kentucky, February 5, 2002. Ms. Rodriquez, 43, was the passenger in the cab of a tractor-trailer that, driven by her husband, rolled onto its passenger side during an interstate highway accident in the darkness. The rig skidded along the highway before stopping with its cab somewhat elevated over the pavement. Her husband escaped the cab, but Ms. Rodriguez remained inside, her lower body trapped in the wreckage. Flames broke out on the trailer, which had been carrying hazardous and flammable cargo, and they grew and spread quickly. Driving on the highway, Daley, 47, salesman, saw the wreckage and ran to the scene. As fire consumed the trailer, he worked himself into the space between the pavement and the passenger side of the cab and, reaching through the window of the passenger door, pulled on Ms. Rodriquez. After a struggle, during which flames spread to the inside of the cab, Daley freed Ms. Rodriquez and pulled her from the vehicle. He extinguished flames on her, then helped her husband and others carry her away. Ms. Rodriquez was hospitalized about five months for treatment of severe and extensive burns and other injuries. Daley also required hospital treatment, for first-degree burns to both hands. He recovered.
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John Cunningham Dailey
John Cunningham Dailey saved Joseph P. McDonough from burning, Boston, Massachusetts, June 21, 2002. McDonough, 73, was in his second-floor apartment in a two-story house after fire broke out in the living room of the first-floor apartment. On duty in the neighborhood, Dailey, 54, police officer, was alerted to the fire, and he responded to the scene. Learning from family members who were fleeing the burning structure that McDonough was upstairs, Dailey entered the house and went to the second floor, where he saw McDonough in the apartment’s kitchen. Dailey started to descend the stairway with McDonough, but when they were about halfway down, flames from the first floor increased suddenly and, spreading to the stairway, blocked their course. They returned to the second floor and exited the building through a back door that opened onto a porch. With flames growing and spreading rapidly, Dailey took McDonough down an exterior stairway, then to safety at the front of the house. Examined at the scene, McDonough sustained minor ill effect. Daily was taken to the hospital, where he was detained overnight for treatment of smoke inhalation. He recovered.
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Mark J. Pentz
Mark J. Pentz helped to save Joyce E. Egan from burning, Newtown, Pennsylvania, February 28, 2002. Ms. Egan, 36, remained in an automobile that, at night, left the roadway, struck a utility pole, and came to rest in an area of dense brush. The pole and car caught fire, as did the brush in places. Pentz, 40, police officer, responded to the scene, as did other officers and residents of the vicinity. They located the car, which was obscured from view, when Ms. Egan began to scream. Precluded by the brush from approaching the driver’s side of the car, Pentz went to its passenger side, where he directed Ms. Egan to exit through the window of the driver’s door. Despite flames issuing from the hood of the car within a foot of him, Pentz reached across the car’s roof, grasped Ms. Egan, and pulled her to himself, then handed her to others. When he turned to move away from the car, he became caught in the brush and, having inhaled smoke, lost consciousness. Others took him from the car to safety, and he revived. Ms. Egan and Pentz required hospitalization, Pentz being detained overnight for treatment of smoke inhalation. He recovered.
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Jared C. Williams
Jared C. Williams saved Hayden A. Strickland and Jennifer L. Jackson from drowning, Panama City Beach, Florida, March 27, 2002. Hayden and Jennifer, both 14, were wading in the Gulf of Mexico when an undertow impeded their return to the beach. A member of their group, Jared, 16, student, waded and swam to Hayden, then, fighting the undertow, took her to shore. Jared returned for Jennifer, who, nearly exhausted, was farther out. He grasped her, started to swim parallel to the beach with her, then turned and went directly toward shore. A woman in their group waded partway out from shore with a body board and met them. With Jennifer atop the board, the woman pulled her to the beach, Jared also exiting the water. Hayden and Jennifer were exhausted, and they recovered.
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Bernadette Vermaas rescued Ljiljana Samuels from assault, Edmonton, Alberta, January 23, 2001. Ms. Samuels, 52, was inside her clothing shop when a woman entered, approached her, and demanded money. The woman jabbed her in the arm with a syringe then struck her in the face with a knife. Ms. Samuels slumped to the floor behind the counter. Hearing the assault, Ms. Vermaas, 39, one of two stylists working in the adjoining hair salon, responded to the scene, taking a broom with her. She approached the assailant and ordered her to leave, but the assailant remained behind the counter. Handed a snow shovel by her coworker, Ms. Vermaas cleared the counter for access to the assailant. The assailant backed away from Ms. Samuels, who then fled, and continued backing toward the rear door of the shop. She exited the shop and left the area but was apprehended by police. Ms. Samuels required surgery for a broken nose, and she recovered.
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Jerome F. Fryer
Hamburg, New Jersey
Jerome F. Fryer saved Heron Barclay from assault, East Orange, New Jersey, March 24, 2001. Wounded by a gunshot to the leg, Barclay, a police officer, lay next to a patrol car in an intersection after he and his partner attempted to apprehend two suspects. The partner began to fire at the suspects’ car, as did another officer, who had arrived from the opposite direction. Fryer, 46, firefighter, was in a fire station located at the scene and heard the shooting. Seeing Barclay down, he ran into the intersection to Barclay despite the gunfire continuing. Fryer aided Barclay to his feet, then supported him as they walked, crouched, to the fire station, where he and other firefighters tended Barclay until other help arrived. Barclay required hospital treatment for his wound.
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Nancy Browning rescued Joyce K. Anderson from assault, Pensacola, Florida, April 28, 2002. Ms. Anderson, 60, was in the parking lot of a church when the woman with whom she had been speaking produced a revolver and shot her in her upraised hand. Ms. Anderson turned and ran, the assailant following. Those hearing the shot included Ms. Browning, 47, custodian, who was outside the church. Ms. Browning ran toward the scene and approached Ms. Anderson, then positioned Ms. Anderson behind her back to shield her. Ms. Browning told the assailant, who approached to within a few feet, not to shoot, but the assailant then shot Ms. Browning in the abdomen, felling her. A man who also had responded tackled the assailant and held her until police arrived shortly. Ms. Anderson required hospital treatment for her wound, as did Ms. Browning, who was detained two months for treatment, including surgery. Partially paralyzed, she was left disabled by her wound.
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Robert J. Bonadies, deceased
Robert J. Bonadies died after rescuing Cynthia M. Hyland from falling, Ellington, Connecticut, May 6, 2002. Ms. Hyland, 42, and her skydiving instructors, Bonadies, 47, electrician, and another man, jumped from an aircraft at an altitude of 12,000 feet and began a stable free fall. Descending past the point at which students were to deploy their main parachutes, Ms. Hyland and her instructors went into an unstable formation, tumbling and increasing their speed. At 2,000 feet, the other instructor broke away and deployed his parachute, while Bonadies remained with Ms. Hyland. They continued to fall, and, at about 800 feet above ground level, Bonadies deployed Ms. Hyland’s main parachute. Her reserve opened immediately after. It was too late for Bonadies to deploy his own parachute, and he struck the ground and was killed. The other instructor and Ms. Hyland landed safely.
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Benny A. Carpenter, Jr, deceased
Benny A. Carpenter, Jr., died helping to save James M. H. Bricker from drowning, Toledo, Ohio, July 6, 2001. Bricker, 45, was on a boating outing on Lake Erie with his brother-in-law, Carpenter, 33, press operator, and Carpenter’s family. Disabled and adrift, the party’s boat was about four miles from the closest point on shore when Bricker attempted to return to the boat after entering the water. He called for help as the boat drifted away from him. Carpenter threw the free end of a rope to Bricker, but it fell short of Bricker’s reach, as did a lifejacket that Carpenter then threw. Carpenter removed his shoes, dived into the water, and, retrieving the lifejacket, swam to Bricker. The men held onto the lifejacket and each other as they struggled to remain afloat. They became separated after several minutes, and Carpenter submerged. Bricker was rescued shortly by a boat that responded to the scene. Carpenter’s body was recovered from the lake three days later; he had drowned.
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Ian Sean Duffey, deceased
Ian Sean Duffey died after rescuing Marjorie M. Sliwiok from burning, Toronto, Ontario, December 25, 2001. At night, Ms. Sliwiok, 72, was asleep in a bedroom on the third floor of a three-story townhouse after fire broke out on the floor below. In the adjacent bedroom, her grandson, Ian, 17, high school student, awoke to the fire, as did his older sister. Ian aided his sister in escaping through a window, but instead of following her, he responded to Ms. Sliwiok’s room and awakened her. He got Ms. Sliwiok to a window in that room and put her through it. She fell to the ground. Ian was not seen alive again; his body, along with that of a younger sister, was later recovered from the structure. He had died of smoke inhalation. Ms. Sliwiok was hospitalized three months for treatment of minor burns and other injuries.
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Danny Ray Mangum
Durham, North Carolina
Danny Ray Mangum rescued Cynthia A. Jones from burning, Carrboro, North Carolina, August 15, 2002. Cynthia, 17, was suspended by her safety belt in the driver’s seat of a pickup truck that had overturned onto its roof and caught fire in a highway accident. Driving on the same highway, Mangum, 42, towing company operator, arrived at the scene shortly after the accident and saw Cynthia inside the pickup. He used a fire extinguisher against the flames on the truck, but to no effect. Despite blistering heat inside the cab and flames beginning to enter there, Mangum extended his upper body through the window of the driver’s door but could not reach the release for Cynthia’s safety belt. He then pulled on the belt, loosening it sufficiently for Cynthia to free herself from it. Mangum grasped Cynthia by the arm and pulled her from the truck, which was shortly engulfed by flames. Cynthia was hospitalized a week for treatment of severe burns to her back and other injuries. Mangum sustained minor burns to his right arm, and he recovered.
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Brian Duane Pearson
Brian Duane Pearson and Lee Peden saved Mark Daniel from burning, Gumbranch, Georgia, October 6, 2000. At night, Daniel, 35, remained in the cab of his pickup truck after an accident in which the vehicle left the roadway, struck a utility pole, and went down an embankment. Fire broke out in its engine compartment. At his house nearby when it lost electricity, Pearson, 22, materials inspector, left to investigate and drove upon the scene, where he found the wreckage of the truck and Daniel inside. Pearson returned to the road and stopped Ms. Peden, 20, college student, who was driving by. They went to the passenger side of Daniel’s truck, the flames on which had grown considerably by then and were entering the cab. They reached through the window of the passenger door, grasped Daniel, and attempted to pull him out, but he resisted the attempt. Persisting, they pulled him through the window just before an explosion at the truck threw them to the ground. Pearson and Ms. Peden then carried Daniel up the embankment toward the roadway as the truck became engulfed by flame. Daniel was hospitalized for treatment of his injuries. Pearson and Ms. Peden were treated at the hospital for minor cuts, and they recovered.
75340-8696 / 75339-8697
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Ross G. Guy
Caejar A. Cox
Moreno Valley, California
Ross G. Guy and Caejar A. Cox helped to save Edgar T. DeLeon from burning, Moreno Valley, California, January 10, 2002. DeLeon, 20, was unconscious in the driver’s seat of his car after a highway accident in which the car collided with another. The vehicles came to rest in close proximity to each other, and flames that broke out on the other car spread to DeLeon’s. Guy, 52, disabled counselor, and Cox, 33, broadcast journalist, drove upon the scene and approached the driver’s side of DeLeon’s car, where they attempted to open the driver’s door, as did another man. After the other man broke out the window to that door, the men found that DeLeon was restrained by his safety belt. Flames by then had entered the rear interior of the car, and Guy, Cox, and the other man were forced back by the heat and smoke. Returning to the car, they started to remove DeLeon through the driver’s door but found that his foot was trapped. After Cox partially entered the car and freed the foot, he and the two other men removed DeLeon from the car and carried him to safety. The cars were destroyed in the accident and fire. DeLeon was hospitalized for treatment of his injuries, and Guy and Cox sustained minor cuts on their hands and arms from which they recovered.
75820-8700 / 75822-8701
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Daniel F. Heede, deceased
Dale W. Hicks II
Daniel F. Heede died helping to save Kristin L. Mason and Steven E. Granby from drowning, and Dale W. Hicks II helped to save Ms. Mason and Granby and helped attempt to save Heede, Panama City Beach, Florida, May 2, 2002. Swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, Ms. Mason, 19, was unable to return to shore against rough water conditions, and Granby, 24, likewise became stranded when he attempted to help her. On the beach nearby, Heede, 52, postal service clerk, was alerted to the situation. Removing his shoes and shirt, he entered the water and swam to the couple. Hicks, 31, college student, also entered the water from the beach and swam out; he grasped Granby and started to take him to shore while Heede supported Ms. Mason. Ms. Mason then joined Granby and Hicks, who took her to wadable water before returning for Granby and taking him in. Heede was seen floating in the water. Nearly exhausted, Hicks swam out to him and, with the help of a deputy sheriff, took him to shore. Heede could not be revived; he had drowned.
76101-8702 / 76351-8703
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Ronald R. Robertson, deceased
John Riordan Collins
Huntington Beach, California
Ronald R. Robertson died after helping to save an indeterminate number of persons from assault, and John Riordan Collins attempted to save Robertson, Anaheim, California, September 14, 1999. A 43-yearold man armed with two revolvers entered a hospital and shot and killed two employees on the second floor. On the first floor, Robertson, 50, the hospital’s environmental services director, was responding to the emergency alert when, nearing the stairs, he heard gunfire and identified it as such to a coworker. Robertson encountered the assailant and struggled against him in the corridor leading from the vicinity of the stairs to the hospital lobby. The assailant shot him repeatedly. In his first-floor office nearby, Collins, 52, the hospital’s controller, heard gunfire and then responded to the corridor, where he saw Robertson and the assailant struggling. Collins ran to them and, seizing the assailant, took him to the floor, where he detained him, with help from another man, until police arrived shortly. Robertson died of his gunshot wounds.
73934-8704 / 75681-8705
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David G. Brons
West Richland, Washington
David G. Brons helped to save Phillip H. Estes from drowning, Richland, Washington, April 4, 2002. Estes, 68, was unconscious inside his pickup truck after it left the roadway, entered the Yakima River, and, sinking nose first, was carried downstream by the swift current. Driving by, Brons, 31, pipefitter, stopped at the scene, then dived into the river, which was swollen by runoff, and swam to the truck. He entered the truck’s bed and attempted to break out the rear window of the cab, then called to bystanders for a rock. One provided, Brons used it to break the window, the truck then sinking to a rest about 20 feet from the bank in water about eight feet deep. Brons reached through the window and attempted to extract Estes but found him restrained by his safety belt. Bystanders produced a knife, and Brons submerged with it, partially entered the cab, and attempted to cut the belt, but he became stuck between Estes and the ceiling of the cab. Withdrawing and surfacing, Brons moved to the driver’s side of the truck and opened that door, propping it ajar with a leg as he reached inside, cut Estes’s safety belt, then pulled Estes from the truck and took him to the surface of the water. He handed Estes to another man, who took him to the bank, Brons following. Estes was revived at the scene, then was hospitalized for more than two monthsfor treatment of respiratory distress. He recovered. Brons sustained minor cuts and bruises, from which he recovered.
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