PITTSBURGH, PA, FEBRUARY 27, 2003—In its first award announcement of 2003, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission today named 19 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. Two of the awardees died in the performance of their heroic acts.
The heroes announced today bring to 8,685 the 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, $26.3 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.
The awardees are:
- Jeffery Michael Lewis, Mesa, Ariz.
- Jeffrey Mumford, St. Louis, Mo.
- Brian Patrick Lalemand, Minot, Maine
- Christopher McGalliard, deceased, Sylacauga, Ala.
- Steve G. Montelongo, Modesto, Calif.
- Larry J. Hicks, Troy, Ala.
- Jacquline L. Johnson, Lexington, Mo.
- James L. Disney, Aldan, Pa.
- Socorro Zamorano, deceased, Mesa, Ariz.
- Eric Svihovec, Miller Place, N.Y.
- Christopher Crociata, Mount Sinai, N.Y.
- Kassandra Jenne Guymon, Clinton, Utah
- Kalvin Kabinoff, Chesterfield, Mo.
- Dennis J. Rogers, Fonthill, Ont.
- Salvatore Latina, Hawley, Pa.
- Gary Allen, Pompano Beach, Fla.
- Rainer E. Sachse, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
- James M. Lee, Bath, N.Y.
- Joseph Wayne Wallace, Tallassee, Ala.
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
Jeffery Michael Lewis
Jeffery Michael Lewis saved Virgil A. Jagelski from burning, Mesa, Arizona, December 11, 2001. Jagelski remained in the driver’s seat of a car after it entered the premises of a service station, knocked over a gasoline pump, and caught fire. Flames immediately broke out underneath the car, which came to rest atop the pump island, and spread to its hood and driver’s side. Lewis, 40, air conditioning contractor, was in his parked vehicle nearby and witnessed the accident. He went to the passenger side of the burning car and opened the door, then reached inside and removed Jagelski’s young son from the front seat and carried him away. Returning to the car, Lewis re-entered it through the passenger door and, kneeling on the front seat, shouted at Jagelski, but Jagelski remained unresponsive. Lewis unfastened Jagelski’s safety belt, grasped him, and, backing through the passenger door, pulled him out of the car and dragged him away as flames continued to grow and spread.
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St. Louis, Missouri
Jeffrey Mumford rescued Agatha Santangelo from assault, St. Louis, Missouri, April 16, 2002. After Ms. Santangelo, 38, a police officer, took a knife from a man whom she was attempting to question, the man turned on her. He punched her repeatedly, then took her to the pavement and attempted to remove her loaded pistol from its holster. At work in a building nearby, Mumford, 37, shipping and receiving clerk, heard screaming, then saw Ms. Santangelo being attacked. He ran to the scene, where he jumped on the assailant, released the assailant’s hold of Ms. Santangelo, and pulled him off her. Mumford pushed the assailant to the ground and secured him as Ms. Santangelo regained her bearings and handcuffed him. Ms. Santangelo required hospital treatment, then physical therapy, for multiple injuries inflicted by the assailant.
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Brian Patrick Lalemand
Brian Patrick Lalemand saved Dorothy A. Trask from burning, Augusta, Maine, March 2, 2002. Dazed, Ms. Trask, 59, remained inside her sport utility vehicle following an accident in which the vehicle left the roadway and overturned onto its passenger side. Other motorists, including Lalemand, 40, forklift operator, stopped at the scene. Smoke, then flames, issued from the vehicle’s engine. Lalemand climbed atop the vehicle and opened the driver’s door. Partially entering the vehicle, he supported Ms. Trask as he released her safety belt. He then pulled her from the vehicle and lowered her to others. Growing flames at the front of the vehicle by then were issuing from the wheel well, and they soon spread to the inside of the vehicle. Lalemand descended to the ground, then helped to carry Ms. Trask away. Flames shortly engulfed the vehicle and destroyed it. Ms. Trask received hospital treatment for minor injury, and Lalemand sustained muscle soreness. They recovered.
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Christopher McGalliard, deceased
Christopher McGalliard died attempting to save Sarah A. Hale from drowning, Cropwell, Alabama, April 21, 2002. Sarah, 13, fell from the personal watercraft she had been using on Logan Martin Lake and shouted for help. McGalliard, 25, truck driver, who was fishing from a pier about 150 feet away, removed his shoes, dived into the water from the end of the pier, and swam toward Sarah. When he had reached a point about 10 feet from her, he submerged. Persons aboard a boat that arrived about then pulled Sarah from the water and made attempts to locate McGalliard. His body was recovered by responding rescue personnel; he had drowned. Sarah sustained a wrist injury, from which she recovered.
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Steve G. Montelongo
Steve G. Montelongo rescued Kathirne Mattox and saved Wayne S. Maxwell from burning, Modesto, California, February 10, 2002. Ms. Mattox, 80, and Maxwell, 79, were at home when a major explosion of leaking natural gas occurred in the one-story house’s utility room, causing extensive damage to the structure and setting it aflame. Burned, Ms. Mattox attempted without success to open the front door. A neighbor, Montelongo, 62, retired construction worker, was nearby and heard the explosion. He responded to the burning house, where he saw Ms. Mattox through the living room window. Montelongo kicked open the front door and entered the house. He grasped Ms. Mattox and handed her outside to others, then turned and crossed the burning living room in search of Maxwell. Passing through the badly damaged and burning utility room, Montelongo found Maxwell in the kitchen. Advancing flames blocked a course to the front door, and structural damage precluded escape through the back door. Seeing another door to the outside, in a wall of the adjoining family room, Montelongo led Maxwell there, after first giving up his own shoes for Maxwell to wear. Montelongo kicked open that door and exited the house with Maxwell. Maxwell was hospitalized overnight for treatment of smoke inhalation, and Ms. Mattox required two days’ hospitalization for treatment of burns. Montelongo suffered chest pains and was taken to the hospital for observation; he recovered. The house was destroyed in the explosion and fire.
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Larry J. Hicks
Larry J. Hicks saved Jack E. Roush from drowning, Troy, Alabama, April 19, 2002. Unconscious and badly injured, Roush, 60, remained restrained in a seat of the open-cockpit, light airplane he had been flying, after it crashed into a small lake. The plane, inverted and nose down in the eight-foot-deep lake, leaked aviation fuel into the water. Hicks, 52, conservation enforcement officer, was at his home nearby and witnessed the accident. He immediately responded to the lake, then took a boat to where parts of the plane were protruding from the water. Although somewhat weakened by effects of cancer treatment, Hicks dived into the water to search for occupants of the plane, finding Roush on the second dive and freeing him on the third. Surfacing, Hicks resuscitated Roush, who remained unconscious. Rescue personnel responding by boat towed Roush to the bank, Hicks helping to support him. Roush required hospitalization for treatment of numerous injuries, and he recovered. Hicks sustained first-degree chemical burns about his upper body, which required hospital treatment and from which he recovered, and related injury.
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Jacquline L. Johnson
Jacquline L. Johnson saved Curtis L. Minks from burning, Higginsville, Missouri, October 30, 2001. Dazed, Minks, 64, remained inside the cab of a dump truck after a highway accident in which the truck overturned onto its driver’s side, came to rest in a ditch alongside the road, and caught fire. Ms. Johnson, 39, developmental assistant, was a passenger in an approaching car that then stopped at the scene. She ran to the cab to check for occupants and saw Minks inside. Despite flames on the underside of the vehicle and inside it, on its bench seat, Ms. Johnson sat on the ground next to the broken-out windshield, reached into the cab, and grasped Minks. She started to pull him out but realized that his legs were caught. Requiring repeated attempts, Ms. Johnson freed his legs, then pulled Minks through the windshield and moved him away from the truck, the cab of which shortly supported a sudden increase of flames. Minks required overnight hospitalization for treatment of injuries sustained in the accident, and he recovered. Ms. Johnson received hospital treatment for exposure to smoke, and she sustained a sore back. She recovered.
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James L. Disney
James L. Disney saved Jerome Powers, Jr., from burning, Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, November 12, 2001. Jerome, 5, was in his family’s two-story row house after fire broke out in the basement and sent dense smoke upstairs. Police officers, including Disney, 43, were dispatched to the scene, where they learned from Jerome’s family members that he was unaccounted for. After rescue attempts by other officers, Disney entered the burning house. Calling out to Jerome, he crawled through an enclosed porch, then into the smoke-filled living room toward the sound of Jerome’s voice. Having gone about 12 feet to the foot of the stairs to the second floor, Disney saw Jerome on the stairway. He ascended a few steps and grasped Jerome but then fell with him to the living room floor. Holding Jerome, Disney crawled back to the front door, where he handed Jerome to another officer. Disney crawled out of the house. He was treated at the scene and later at the hospital for smoke inhalation, and he recovered. Jerome also required hospital treatment for smoke inhalation.
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Socorro Zamorano, deceased
Socorro Zamorano died attempting to save Jacqueline Flores from burning, Mesa, Arizona, December 19, 2001. Jacqueline, 7 months old, was in a crib in a bedroom of her family’s mobile home after fire of accidental origin erupted in a nearby bedroom early in the morning. Her grandmother, Ms. Zamorano, 60, who had been on a chore just outside the structure, attempted to douse the fire by throwing water on it through a window. Neighbors arrived at the scene, as did motorists who had seen the fire from a nearby road. When Ms. Zamorano went to the front door to enter the structure for Jacqueline, at least one person attempted to restrain her. Ms. Zamorano broke away and entered the mobile home, in which conditions were deteriorating rapidly. She was not seen alive again; firefighters found her body and that of Jacqueline together, in the living room. Both had died of smoke inhalation.
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Miller Place, New York
Mount Sinai, New York
Eric Svihovec and Christopher Crociata saved Olivia H. Wardell from drowning, Mount Sinai, New York, July 1, 2001. During a late afternoon thunderstorm, the darkness and heavy rainfall of which greatly reduced visibility, the automobile in which Olivia, 2 months old, was a passenger traveled down a boat ramp at a marina and entered Mount Sinai Harbor. Olivia was in a car seat that was secured to the back seat of the car, which started to sink nose first in water about 13 feet deep. Seeing the situation, two marina dockhands, including Svihovec, 21, college student, and Christopher, 16, high school student, ran to a point on the dock adjacent to the ramp and jumped into the water. Sihovec swam to the car and opened the passenger door, enabling the driver to exit, as Christopher swam to the driver’s side and attempted to open that door. As Svihovec then attempted to free Olivia, Christopher joined him on the passenger side, where he partially entered the car, which was continuing to sink, and pushed the front passenger seat forward. Svihovec knelt on the bottom of the doorframe, leaned inside, and worked to pull the car seat out, he and Olivia submerging. Svihovec freed the seat after some difficulty, then backed from the car with it and pushed it to Christopher, who took it to the nearby dock. Olivia was handed over to safety, and Svihovec, Christopher, and the driver also left the water. Olivia was examined at the hospital but was uninjured, and Christopher recovered from a cut to his knee.
75457-8675 / 75458-8676
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Kassandra Jenne Guymon
Kassandra Jenne Guymon saved a boy from being struck by a train, Sunset, Utah, March 13, 2002. Seeing a 4-year-old boy standing unattended along a railroad track at a crossing, Kassandra, 17, high school student, who was passing by in a vehicle, stopped at a nearby house to make inquiry. While there, she saw and heard a train approaching. Kassandra immediately ran 225 feet to the boy, who was at the edge of the track on which the train was traveling at about 40 m.p.h. Reaching him when the train was about 100 feet away, Kassandra grasped the boy and pulled him away from the track. The front of the train passed them within moments. It did not stop.
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Kalvin Kabinoff rescued Angelina M. Hutsell from burning, Ladue, Missouri, April 14, 2002. After a highway accident at night in which her car left the roadway, caught fire, and went down an embankment, Ms. Hutsell, 19, unconscious, lay extended through the window of the driver’s door, her head remaining inside the car. The passenger of one of the vehicles that stopped at the scene, Kabinoff, 52, physician recruiter, ran down the embankment to the car after seeing Ms. Hutsell there. Despite flames that issued high from the car and virtually engulfed it, he grasped Ms. Hutsell and started to pull her from the car. Finding a strap of her safety belt around her shoulder, Kabinoff removed the strap, then pulled Ms. Hutsell completely out. He rolled her on the ground to extinguish flames on her upper body, then dragged her up the embankment, receiving help from others. Ms. Hutsell required lengthy hospitalization for treatment of extensive burns, including third-degree, from which she eventually recovered. Kabinoff sustained a burn to his left wrist, from which he recovered, and he singed his eyebrows.
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Dennis J. Rogers
Dennis J. Rogers rescued Brenda Gregory from burning, Welland, Ontario, February 18, 2002. Disoriented, Ms. Gregory, 38, was in the bathroom on the first floor of her house after fire broke out at night in the adjoining kitchen and sent dense smoke into the house. A passing motorist, Rogers, 37, machinist, saw smoke issuing from the house and flames at its front windows. He responded to the house’s rear door, where he learned that Ms. Gregory was still inside. Calling out to Ms. Gregory through the door, Rogers realized that she was unable to exit. Although visibility in the house was nil, Rogers entered, crawling. He told Ms. Gregory to pound on the floor so he could follow that sound to her. Rogers crawled to the bathroom, grasped Ms. Gregory by the wrists, and, crawling backward, dragged her to the rear door and outside. Ms. Gregory was treated at the hospital for superficial burns and smoke inhalation. Rogers suffered from effects of smoke inhalation for about three days, and he recovered.
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Salvatore Latina attempted to rescue Michael Walter from assault, Port Jervis, New York, July 5, 2002. Walter, 43, was in the showroom of the automobile dealership where he worked when a man armed with a gun entered the building, approached him, and shot at him repeatedly at close range. As customers and other employees fled, Latina, 55, who had been seated nearby, walked toward the assailant and told him to stop shooting. The assailant moved closer to Walter and shot him again. Latina rushed the assailant, pinned him against a wall, and struggled with him for control of the gun. The weapon fired, striking and severely injuring Latina’s right index finger. Despite his wound, Latina took the gun from the assailant, wrestled him to the floor, and detained him there until police arrived. Latina required surgery and physical therapy on his finger but lost most of its mobility. Walter died at the scene of his injuries.
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Pompano Beach, Florida
Rainer E. Sachse
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Gary Allen and Rainer E. Sachse saved Alan G. Voce from burning, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, December 9, 2001. Voce, 75, remained inside the automobile he had been driving after it crashed into an unoccupied one-story building, traveled about 18 feet inside, and caught fire. Allen, 35, mortgage and real estate broker, witnessed the accident, and Sachse, 44, physician, saw the hole in the building while driving by, then learned from Allen what had happened. Both men entered the building and approached the car, which was burning at its front end. They saw Voce in the back seat, shouting for help. Allen looked for a fire extinguisher while Sachse used a chair to break the car’s left rear window. With heat and smoke conditions intensifying in the building, both men reached inside the car, grasped Voce, and pulled him out. They dragged him outside to safety as flames spread. Voce required hospital treatment for his injuries. Allen sustained bruises and abrasions to his arms, and Sachse sustained a cut to his shin. They recovered.
75798-8680 / 75797-8681
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James M. Lee
Bath, New York
James M. Lee saved Topaz L. Wolfanger from burning, Bath, New York, November 12, 2001. Topaz, 5, was in a bedroom of her family’s apartment, on the first floor of a two-story building, after fire broke out in the basement at night and filled the apartment with thick smoke. Driving in the vicinity, Lee, 30, police officer, saw smoke at the scene and responded. Learning that Topaz was still inside the apartment, Lee entered the building through a front door, then entered the apartment. He got down on his hands and knees but was unable to see because of the smoke, which was issuing through the floor. Lee stood and, following Topaz’s voice, made his way across the living room and kitchen. He found Topaz’s bedroom, which was above the vicinity of the fire’s origin, then located Topaz on a bed in that room. He picked her up, put a blanket over her, and left the bedroom. He became disoriented while in the kitchen, but made his way to the living room, where he feared not finding the apartment door. Following cooler air and the voices of others, Lee went to the door, then outside the building to safety, where he collapsed. Topaz was not injured. Lee was given oxygen at the scene, then was taken to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation. He recovered.
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Joseph Wayne Wallace
Joseph Wayne Wallace rescued David Z. Lawrence from burning, Tallassee, Alabama, February 8, 2002. David, 5, was in a bedroom of his family’s one-story house after fire broke out in an adjoining room and filled the house with smoke. At a nearby service station, Wallace, 37, automobile mechanic, learned of the fire, and that a child was missing, by means of a scanner transmission. Recognizing the address, he sped to the scene, where he saw smoke and flames issuing from the house. Wallace went to the front door and entered, calling out to David. Guided by David’s reply, Wallace ran through a burning hall to the opposite end of the house, where he broke into the bedroom, which had caught fire by then. He felt on the floor for David, found him under a bed, then grasped him and returned to the hall. Starting to retreat, Wallace was struck by a piece of falling ceiling that knocked him and David to the floor. Still carrying David, Wallace crawled through the hall and into the living room, then stood and went to the front door, where he handed David outside to safety. Wallace left the burning house, then took to the ground to catch his breath. He and David were taken to the hospital, where they were treated for burns, David’s to his feet and Wallace sustaining second-degree burns to both knees and his right hand. They recovered.
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