PITTSBURGH, PA, December 14, 2011 — In its fourth and final award announcement of 2011, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission today named 18 individuals as recipients of the CARNEGIE MEDAL. The medal is given throughout the United States and Canada to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.
The heroes announced today bring to 83 the number of awards made in 2011 and to 9,495 the total number of awards since the Pittsburgh-based Fund’s inception in 1904. Commission President Mark Laskow stated that each of the awardees will also receive a financial grant. Throughout the 107 years since the Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, $33.9 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.
Youngest of the awardees named today are three teenage boys from Okeechobee, Fla., who saved a woman from drowning in the Indian River at Fort Pierce, Fla., on Aug. 17, 2010. The boys fought a strong tidal current to effect the rescue in darkness. The awardees are:
- Gerald A. LaMonica, Dearborn Heights, Mich.
- John Conley, Barrington, R.I.
- Richard Joseph Camp, Long Beach, Calif.
- David Richmond Jones, Glenwood Springs, Colo.
- William E. Longmore IV, Adairsville, Ga.
- Travis James Mauldin, Okeechobee, Fla.
- Cody Alan Beasley, Okeechobee, Fla.
- Brandon M. Smitha, Okeechobee, Fla.
- Matthew Jason McCune, Denver, Colo.
- Michael Austin Dudley, Chester, Va.
- Dennis Fleming, Mechanicsville, Md.
- Grady Terry Warhurst, Upper Marlboro, Md.
- Frank Shane Ward, Amarillo, Texas
- Ronald D. Curry, Pacific Grove, Calif.
- Harold T. Leach, Danville, Calif.
- Peter Boterenbrood, Norton Shores, Mich.
- Darryl F. Starnes, Mechanicsville, Va.
- Curtis W. Combs. Sr., Mechanicsville, Va.
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
Gerald A. LaMonica
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Gerald A. LaMonica rescued Madison P. Boljesic from an attacking dog, Dearborn Heights, Michigan, September 25, 2010. Madison, 10, was on the sidewalk in a residential neighborhood when a 45-pound, adult male pit bull dog charged her without provocation. It took her to the ground and bit her repeatedly. Across the street, LaMonica, 75, retired merchandiser, was approaching the scene on foot when the attack took place. He immediately ran across the street toward Madison and the dog, yelling at the dog to distract it. When he had nearly reached them, the dog turned to LaMonica and charged him. LaMonica landed a hard kick against the dog’s chest, but it recovered and charged him again, biting him forcefully on the right calf. When Madison’s brother then arrived and threatened the dog, it released LaMonica and left the scene. Both Madison and LaMonica were treated at the hospital, their bite wounds requiring sutures.
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Barrington, Rhode Island
John Conley helped to save a woman from drowning, New Bedford, Massachusetts, August 7, 2010. An 86-year-old woman was the driver of an automobile that in an accident left the parking lot of a marina, entered New Bedford Harbor, and began to sink in water about 10 feet deep at a point about 50 feet from the bank. Witnessing the accident, Conley, 54, chiropractor, ran to his boat, which was docked at the marina, donned a diving mask and fins, and then jumped into the water and swam about 60 feet to the car. Using a tool, he broke out the car’s back window and with another man who responded cleared pieces of glass from the window, both men incurring cuts to their arms and hands. Water entering the car caused it to sink quickly. Moving to the driver’s side of the vehicle, Conley twice submerged in attempts to pull the woman through the partially open window of the driver’s door, but he was unsuccessful each time and surfaced for air. On a third attempt, Conley pulled the woman out of the car. They surfaced. Conley and the other man swam her to the dock and with the aid of others hoisted her from the water. The woman was hospitalized for treatment of an underlying health condition, and she recovered. Conley also required hospital treatment, for cuts, and he too recovered.
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Richard Joseph Camp
Long Beach, California
David Richmond Jones
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Richard Joseph Camp and David Richmond Jones saved an indeterminate number of people from assault, Long Beach, California, March 5, 2010. A man armed with a revolver entered a bank, approached a teller window, and demanded money from the teller. A customer at the window, Camp, 39, general contractor, moved to a point about 10 feet away but remained present, as did several other customers and bank employees, as the robbery attempt ensued. When the assailant started to mount the counter, Camp rushed him from behind, grasped him, and took him to the floor. They struggled for control of the gun, which the assailant fired repeatedly, striking Camp once in his right thigh. Despite his wound, Camp continued to struggle against the assailant, disarming him and throwing the revolver aside. Another customer in the bank, Jones, 48, carpenter, had been seated at a desk about 25 feet from the teller window. After the shots were fired, he immediately ran toward Camp, securing the weapon, and then joined in the struggle to subdue the assailant. As Jones was pinning the assailant’s legs, he and Camp discovered that the assailant was armed with a second gun. Camp seized it and sent it across the floor. Police arrived shortly and arrested the assailant. Camp was treated at the hospital for his gunshot wound, which required surgery a month later.
83017-9486 / 82994-9487
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William E. Longmore IV
William E. Longmore IV rescued Robert M. Jones from burning, Rome, Georgia, August 16, 2010. Jones, 72, remained in the driver’s seat of his sport utility vehicle after an accident in which the vehicle left the roadway and overturned onto its passenger side. Conscious but dazed, he was unable to free himself from his safety belt as flames broke out at the front of the vehicle and began to spread inside. Longmore, 38, supervisor, and his wife were traveling on the highway and came upon the scene. Taking a fire extinguisher, Longmore ran to the car and fought the flames, emptying the extinguisher, but flames continued to burn and were spreading rapidly. Hearing Jones scream for help, Longmore realized that the vehicle was occupied. He approached the rear of the car and used the extinguisher to break out its hatch window. He partially entered but was forced to retreat by dense smoke. After his wife reached the car and broke windows out with a hammer, the smoke cleared somewhat, allowing Longmore to enter the vehicle fully. He advanced to Jones and, finding him restrained by his safety belt, pulled on Jones’s seat to free him. Flames compromised the belt, and Jones fell from the seat. Longmore grasped him about the arms and dragged him to the rear of the vehicle. With help from his wife, Longmore pulled Jones out of the vehicle and away from it as flames grew to engulf and destroy it. Longmore suffered minor burns to his back but did not require medical treatment, and he recovered. Jones required hospitalization for treatment of serious burns and other injuries.
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Travis James Mauldin
Cody Alan Beasley
Brandon M. Smith
Travis James Mauldin, Cody Alan Beasley, and Brandon M. Smith saved a woman from drowning, Fort Pierce, Florida, August 17, 2010. At night, a 41-year-old woman jumped from a bridge into the Indian River and was swept away by a strong tidal current. Travis, 17; Cody, 17; and Brandon, 16, all high school students, were fishing from a catwalk below the bridge with friends when they heard the woman hit the water and then saw her being carried into the darkness. They jumped from the catwalk into the river and swam about 350 feet to the woman, who was floating on her back at a point about 385 feet from the closer bank. They grasped the woman and together swam with difficulty against the current toward the bank. Reaching wadable water, they pulled the woman toward an accessible point on the bank, where emergency personnel had responded. The rescuers removed the woman from the river. She was hospitalized for treatment of broken ribs and other injuries, and she recovered. Travis, Cody, and Brandon sustained minor lacerations and were tired after the rescue, but they recovered.
83523-9482 / 83524-9483 / 83525-9484
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Matthew Jason McCune
Matthew Jason McCune rescued Erin Lucero from assault, Denver, Colorado, October 13, 2010. At night, Lucero, 23, was inside a moving automobile when her boyfriend began to strike her. She screamed and, bloodied, fell from the vehicle to the pavement. McCune, 36, attorney, witnessed the incident from about 120 feet away. He ran to Lucero, after which her boyfriend drove off, and urged her to remain at the scene until police arrived. Instead, Lucero began to walk away. Wanting to ensure her safety, McCune followed her closely for about 775 feet, or to the point at which the boyfriend emerged from a nearby house and approached them. Lucero positioned herself behind McCune as the boyfriend, armed with a knife, charged McCune and stabbed him repeatedly. Lucero fled to safety as the two men struggled. They then broke apart, and the assailant fled but was shortly apprehended by police. Lucero and McCune were taken to the hospital. Lucero was not badly injured, but McCune was detained two days for treatment, including surgery, of multiple knife wounds.
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Michael Austin Dudley
Michael Austin Dudley attempted to save Cindy M. Parker from assault, Chester, Virginia, June 23, 2010. Parker, 45, was attacked by a man in the entryway of a restaurant. From the parking lot in front of the restaurant, Dudley, 18, store employee, saw the attack. He ran to the entryway, grasped the assailant, and, pulling him off Parker, forced him outside and to the sidewalk. The assailant stood, produced a handgun from his pocket, and pointed it at Dudley. He then turned and fired it at Parker, mortally wounding her. The assailant next shot Dudley in the abdomen, felling him to the pavement, before fleeing. He was apprehended shortly by police. Dudley required six days’ hospitalization for treatment, including surgery, of his wound, from which he recovered in six months.
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Grady Terry Warhurst
Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Dennis Fleming and Grady Terry Warhurst saved Kevin L. Gladhill, Michael G. Krall, and Russell U. Neff III from drowning, Lusby, Maryland, February 10, 2011. Gladhill, 32; Krall, 35; and Neff, 55, were fishing from a 21-foot boat in Chesapeake Bay, in the vicinity of turbulence created by the discharge of water from conduits of a power plant nearby on the bank. Opposing winds amplified the turbulence, creating standing waves five feet high. A wave swamped the boat, and another capsized it, sending the men into the 34-degree water. They secured a hold of the boat, only the bow of which was exposed. Fleming, 51, environmental resources administrator, and Warhurst, 64, landfill supervisor, were fishing the same waters from Fleming’s 21-foot boat nearby and witnessed the accident. Radioing for help, Fleming immediately took his boat into the turbulent water and approached a point alongside the partially submerged one. Fleming, who left the boat’s controls, and Warhurst grasped the men one at a time and hauled them with difficulty into the stern of that boat. They then took the men to the safety of a harbor, from which they were transferred to the hospital for treatment of hypothermia. They recovered.
83848-9488 / 83903-9489
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Frank Shane Ward
Frank Shane Ward rescued Judy W. Jett, Sylvia L. Highers, and Barbara J. Fail from burning, Hydro, Oklahoma, July 11, 2010. Jett, 61; Sylvia, 12; and Fail, 48, were occupants of a pickup truck that, in an interstate highway accident, left the roadway and, catching fire, rolled down an embankment and came to rest upside down. Flames spread alongside the passenger side of the vehicle and issued from its exposed underside, and they entered the passenger compartment. Jett, who had been driving, and Fail removed their safety belts but with Sylvia were trapped in the wreckage. Also traveling on the highway, Ward, 35, business operator, witnessed the accident. He immediately drove off the roadway, left his vehicle, and ran down to the burning pickup. Seeing that Jett had extended an arm through the compressed window of the driver’s door, Ward reached into the truck, grasped her, and then pulled her from the vehicle. Despite growing flames, Ward reached into the vehicle again, grasped Sylvia by the arms, and pulled her out. Fail, who had been in the passenger seat, reached the window, and Ward extended his arms inside a third time and grasped her. Seconds after pulling her out of the pickup, flames grew quickly to engulf it. Jett, Sylvia, and Fail all required hospitalization for treatment of their burns, up to third-degree, and other injuries.
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Ronald D. Curry
Pacific Grove, California
Harold T. Leach
Ronald D. Curry and Harold T. Leach saved Margarito Garcia from drowning, Pacific Grove, California, November 8, 2009. Garcia and another man were in a 15-foot aluminum boat off Point Pinos on Monterey Bay of the Pacific Ocean when the boat capsized in rough surf. They shouted for help, drawing the attention of Curry, 50, painting contractor, and Leach, 51, financial service company executive, friends who were on a golf course on the shore in that area. Curry and Leach ran into the water and waded and swam toward the men, their course made difficult by high waves breaking among large rocks near shore and the coldness of the water. Garcia’s companion reached an exposed rock and clung to it, but Garcia floated face down about 300 feet from shore. Curry and Leach reached him, positioned him on his back, and then with difficulty retraced their course to shore, pulling him. Lifeguards arrived and rescued Garcia’s companion. Curry and Leach were both fatigued and cold and had cuts to their legs from the rocks, but they recovered.
82782-9491 / 82781-9492
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Norton Shores, Michigan
Peter Boterenbrood rescued Christopher F. Porter from burning, Norton Shores, Michigan, July 24, 2010. Porter, 39, was the lone occupant of a single-engine airplane that crash-landed in a wooded area after losing power while in flight. As tree limbs blocked the door on the left side of the fuselage and flames broke out on its right side, just outside the cockpit, Porter was trapped in the wreckage. He shouted for help. Boterenbrood, 44, a police officer from a neighboring municipality, was off-duty and in his home near the scene. Alerted to the crash, he responded immediately and approached the plane. Boterenbrood moved branches that were blocking the plane’s left side and then opened the door, finding that flames were entering the cockpit. He reached inside, grasped Porter, and, pulling hard on him, freed him from the wreckage. They fell to the ground. Boterenbrood dragged Porter away from the plane and then, aided by a responding police officer, dragged him farther to safety as the cockpit became engulfed by flames. Porter was hospitalized for treatment of injuries sustained in the crash, and he also suffered a minor burn. Boterenbrood recovered from minor cuts and scratches.
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Darryl F. Starnes
Curtis W. Combs. Sr.
Darryl F. Starnes and Curtis W. Combs, Sr., rescued Kelley B. Peele from burning, Mechanicsville, Virginia, February 15, 2011. Peele, 48, remained in the driver’s seat of her sport utility vehicle after an accident in which the vehicle left the roadway, struck a tree, and caught fire at its front end. She was conscious but badly injured and trapped by wreckage. Starnes, 70, retired insurance examiner, approached the scene in his vehicle and stopped. He went to the burning vehicle and tried to open its driver’s door but found that it was jammed. He then extended his upper body through the window of that door and worked to release Peele’s safety belt. Another motorist, Combs, 49, collision technician, stopped at the scene and joined in the rescue effort. After failing to open the vehicle’s doors, he entered it head first through the window of the front passenger door. Despite flames by then entering the passenger compartment, the men worked to free Peele, whose legs were trapped. Starnes then began to pull Peele through the window of the driver’s door as Combs withdrew from the vehicle. The men took Peele to safety as flames grew quickly to engulf the interior of the vehicle. Peele sustained minor burns to her hands and required hospitalization for treatment of her other injuries.
83862-9494 / 83863-9495
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