PITTSBURGH, PA, JULY 1, 1999—In its third award announcement of 1999, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission today named 24 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. Three of the awardees died in the performance of their heroic acts.
The heroes announced today bring to 60 the number of awards made in 1999 to date and to 8,299 the total number since the Pittsburgh-based Fund’s inception in 1904. Commission President Robert W. Off stated that each of the awardees or their survivors will receive also a grant of $3,000. Throughout the 95 years since the Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, $23.5 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance. The awardees are:
- John Archibald Lewis, Glace Bay, N.S.
- Jeffrey Alyn Rushing, Centralia, Ill.
- Gabriel Dylan Steinbach, University City, Mo.
- Kelly McConnell, Paris, Texas
- Raymond C. Kitchen, deceased, Fort Nelson, B.C.
- Ingrid Suzanne Bailey, Felton, Calif.
- Frank S. Hedingham, deceased, Lantzville, B.C.
- Gary Richmond, Vancouver, B.C.
- Aaron M. Hall, Milltown, Mont.
- Robert C. Swartz, Jr., Syracuse, N.Y.
- Michael J. Ravesi, Oswego, N.Y.
- Carl Assini, Webster, N.Y.
- Robert T. van Ee, Forestville, Calif.
- Cuong Trong Hoang, Honolulu, Hawaii
- Giao Ngoc Chau, deceased, Honolulu, Hawaii
- Randall Scott Davey, The Dalles, Ore.
- Timothy Lee Hays, Rochester, Ind.
- Bruce M. Baker, Kewanna, Ind.
- Ulutunu Faumuina, deceased, Honolulu, Hawaii
- Robert E. Mohr, Denver, Ind.
- Nathan L. Moore, Decatur, Ga.
- Barry D. Craggy, Burlington, Ont.
- Daniel A. Frister, San Diego, Calif.
- Gary Lester Johns, Coos Bay, Ore.
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
John Archibald Lewis
Glace Bay, Nova Scotia
John Archibald Lewis saved Harry and Steven C. Oosterom from burning, Kingston, Nova Scotia, August 1, 1997. Oosterom, 38, was the driver of a tractor-trailer that caught fire and left the highway after a head-on collision with another vehicle. Steven, 7, his son, was also in the cab. The driver’s side of the tractor was aflame, and a fuel tank located there had ruptured in the accident. A motorist, Lewis, 40, paramedic, was approaching the scene when he saw the accident. Lewis approached the passenger side of the rig and climbed to a running board just above a fuel tank located there. He reached his upper body through the open window of the passenger door and grasped Steven, who was on the floor. He pulled Steven through the window and handed him to another man who had arrived. Lewis then partially entered the cab again. He grasped Oosterom, removed him from the cab through the window, then stepped to the ground with him and walked him away from the tractor. Moments later, the tractor was engulfed by flame. Steven and Oosterom were hospitalized overnight for treatment of their injuries, Oosterom’s including minor burns to the left side of his body. They recovered. Lewis injured an ankle in the rescue, and he too recovered.
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Jeffrey Alyn Rushing
Jeffrey Alyn Rushing rescued Ralph W. Guenther from burning, Centralia, Illinois, March 22, 1998. Guenther, 47, was in his family’s two-story home after fire broke out at night in the adjoining carport and spread to the kitchen. Rushing, 27, factory worker, saw the burning house while driving by. He stopped at the scene and learned that Guenther was still inside. Rushing approached the front door, partially entered the smoke-filled living room, and called out to Guenther but had to withdraw for air. He then broke out a first-floor window and shouted to Guenther again, that time hearing Guenther moan. Rushing returned to the front door and, on his stomach, entered the house and began to crawl through the living room. Heat in the house was intense, and smoke precluded visibility. Touching Guenther at a point about 12 feet from the door, Rushing grasped him by the arms and crawled back to the door, dragging him. He then removed Guenther outside to safety. Guenther and Rushing sustained minor burns, from which they recovered.
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Gabriel Dylan Steinbach
University City, Missouri
Gabriel Dylan Steinbach rescued Barbara L. Becht from assault, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, March 22, 1998. Ms. Becht, 32, was working at the coffee bar she co-owned when a man armed with a knife approached and, without provocation, stabbed her. She screamed and began to run away but fell to the floor behind the serving counter. Atop her, the assailant continued to stab her. Steinbach, 24, graphics designer, was seated at the counter. He immediately ran around the end of the counter and approached the assailant, then struggled with him, enabling Ms. Becht to flee. Steinbach grasped the assailant’s knife hand, pinned it to the floor, and, other customers then intervening, seized the knife and cast it aside. The customers detained the assailant until police arrived shortly and arrested him. Ms. Becht required hospitalization for treatment of multiple stab wounds, from which she recovered. Steinbach also required hospital treatment, for a knife wound to his right forearm, and he too recovered.
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Raymond C. Kitchen, deceased
Fort Nelson, British Columbia
Kelly McConnell attempted to rescue Patti R. McConnell, and Raymond C. Kitchen died rescuing Kelly McConnell, from an attacking bear, Fort Nelson, British Columbia, August 14, 1997. Ms. McConnell, 37, and her son Kelly, 13, student, were on an elevated boardwalk in a wooded area of a provincial park when they saw a black bear feeding nearby. The 218-pound male bear suddenly charged onto the walk, set upon Ms. McConnell, and began to maul her. Clad only in swimming trunks, Kelly, shouting, approached the bear and kicked it, but the bear continued its attack. Kelly then obtained a branch and struck the bear repeatedly about the head and nose. The bear left Ms. McConnell and turned on Kelly, taking him to the walk and inflicting numerous wounds to his neck, back, and chest. Also visiting the park, Kitchen, 56, business operator, responded to the scene from several hundred feet away. He shouted at the bear and, also clad only in swimming trunks, fought the bear with a stick. The bear then turned on Kitchen and attacked him, taking him to the ground about 20 feet from where Kelly and his mother lay immobilized by their wounds. Other park visitors arrived and attempted to stop the bear’s mauling of Kitchen. While one of those persons left for help, two others tended Kelly and Ms. McConnell. They were joined by a third person who helped give the victims first aid while the bear remained nearby. Unbeknownst to them, the bear left Kitchen and approached, and it charged the boardwalk again. They chased it away. The bear left the immediate area but attacked and mauled a fourth victim before it was felled by firearm. Ms. McConnell and Kitchen died of their injuries, and Kelly required three weeks’ hospitalization for treatment of his wounds, which included several broken bones and severe lacerations.
73225-8279 / 71975-8280
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Ingrid Suzanne Bailey
Frank S. Hedingham, deceased
Lantzville, British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia
Ingrid Suzanne Bailey, Frank S. Hedingham, and Gary Richmond helped victims of a bear attack, Fort Nelson, British Columbia, August 14, 1997. Patti R. McConnell, 37, and her son, Kelly, 13, were on an elevated boardwalk in a wooded area of a provincial park when they saw a black bear feeding nearby. The 218-pound male bear suddenly charged onto the walk, set upon Ms. McConnell, and began to maul her. Shouting, Kelly approached the bear and kicked it, then obtained a branch and struck the bear repeatedly about the head and nose. The bear turned on Kelly, taking him to the walk and inflicting numerous wounds. Raymond C. Kitchen, 56, who had been visiting the park, arrived at the scene and, shouting, fought the bear with a stick. The bear then turned on him, taking him to the ground about 20 feet from where Kelly and his mother lay immobilized by their wounds. Other park visitors, including Ms. Bailey, 33, firefighter, and Hedingham, 71, retired teacher, arrived. They helped attempt to stop the bear’s mauling of Kitchen, which was fatal. While one of the others left for help, Ms. Bailey and Hedingham responded to Kelly and Ms. McConnell and, joined by Richmond, 46, engineering geologist, applied resuscitation and first-aid efforts, the bear remaining nearby. Unbeknownst to them, the bear left Kitchen and approached, and it charged the boardwalk again. They chased it away. The bear left the immediate area but attacked and mauled a fourth victim before it was felled by firearm. Ms. McConnell died of her injuries, and Kelly required three weeks’ hospitalization for treatment of his wounds, which included several broken bones and severe lacerations.
72148-8281 / 72101-8282 / 72225-8283
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Aaron M. Hall
Aaron M. Hall rescued Dante J. Swallow from an attacking mountain lion, Missoula, Montana, July 31, 1998. Attending a day camp, Dante, 6, was hiking on a dirt road through a wooded area with other children and their counselors, including Aaron, 16, high school student. A 92-pound male mountain lion suddenly approached Dante and attacked him, taking him to the ground and biting him on the neck. Aaron, who had been walking nearby, immediately moved toward the mountain lion, screaming and kicking dirt at it. As the mountain lion began to drag Dante toward the woods, Aaron kicked it repeatedly. The mountain lion released its grip on Dante and moved a short distance away. Aaron then charged the animal, causing it to retreat farther. Aaron returned to Dante and provided first aid, then, with another counselor, took him to safety. Dante was taken to the hospital, where severe wounds about his face and neck were sutured. He recovered. The mountain lion was tracked down shortly and was shot by state wildlife wardens.
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Robert C. Swartz, Jr.
Syracuse, New York
Michael J. Ravesi
Oswego, New York
Webster, New York
Robert C. Swartz, Jr.; Michael J. Ravesi, and Carl Assini saved Laura F. Cuthbert from electrocution, Syracuse, New York, October 1, 1997. Ms. Cuthbert, 37, was the driver of an automobile that was stopped at a downtown intersection when a 300-ton truck crane at a nearby construction site overturned. The falling 300-foot boom of the crane pulled down wires, including one of a primary electric line carrying more than 4,000 volts, then struck and lay atop Ms. Cuthbert’s car. Working at the site, Swartz, 25, and Ravesi, 24, apprentice electricians, immediately responded to the scene, followed shortly by their foreman, Assini, 35, electrician. Taking care to avoid the downed lines, the men approached the car, not knowing if any of the lines or the car or boom were energized. Ms. Cuthbert yelled for help. After Assini touched the body of the car and was not shocked, he, Swartz, and Ravesi pulled at the driver’s door until the glass in its window shattered. Although still uncertain as to the possibility of any electrical charge, they reached through the window, grasped Ms. Cuthbert, and, with difficulty, pulled her from the car, feet first. She walked away from the car, having sustained cuts and bruises, for which she received hospital treatment. She recovered.
72523-8285 / 72522-8286 / 72521-8287
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Robert T. van Ee
Robert T. van Ee helped to save Max Perel-Slater from drowning, Jenner, California, April 14, 1998. Max, 8, was playing on a Pacific Ocean beach in a state park when he was washed from shore by the surf and tossed about in the rough water. Walking on the beach nearby, van Ee, 45, disabled mechanic, and his son immediately responded. They ran into the area of breaking waves and strong backwash, van Ee’s son then grasping Max. As van Ee extended a hand to them, a wave broke over and separated them. Van Ee secured Max in the rough water by placing his body over Max’s and digging his feet into the sand to keep themselves from being washed out. His son grasped Max and, aided by others, removed him from the water. Then washed farther into the surf, van Ee did not have the strength to return to the beach. His son re-entered the rough water and removed him to safety. He was checked by paramedics, then taken to the hospital for treatment of having nearly drowned. Max also required hospital treatment for effects of his ordeal. Both recovered.
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Cuong Trong Hoang
Giao Ngoc Chau, deceased
Cuong Trong Hoang helped to save Jimmy Lam, and Giao Ngoc Chau died attempting to help save Jimmy Lam and Brandon B. and Trung D. Lam, from drowning, Haleiwa, Hawaii, November 9, 1997. Jimmy, 9, and his cousins, Brandon, 13, and Trung, 16, brothers, were swimming in wadable water off a Pacific Ocean beach when a large wave broke over them and they were then pulled farther from shore into deeper water. Yelling for help, they attracted the attention of people on shore, including Hoang, 23, delivery truck driver, and Chau, 24, bakery worker, who were fishing. Hoang and Chau immediately entered the water and swam toward the boys. Hoang grasped Jimmy and held him up. As Jimmy struggled against him, Hoang threw him toward shore, and Jimmy made his way to safety, as did Brandon and Trung. Hoang, however, was pulled farther out, as was Chau, and became tired from his efforts to swim back to shore. Rescue personnel arrived and recovered Hoang, then lifted him to shore by helicopter. He was treated at the scene, then was admitted to the hospital in serious condition for having nearly drowned. He was detained overnight, and he recovered. Chau had submerged and was recovered at a point about 150 feet from the beach. He drowned.
72506-8289 / 72508-8290
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Randall Scott Davey
The Dalles, Oregon
Randall Scott Davey saved Victoria M. Anderson and Wyndi N. Bowers from burning, The Dalles, Oregon, February 22, 1998. Victoria and Wyndi, both 11, were asleep in a bedroom of Victoria’s family’s second-floor apartment after fire erupted at night in the apartment’s kitchen. In the adjacent apartment, Davey, 27, cook, was alerted to the fire. He responded to the front door of the burning apartment, gained entry, then, having to pass the kitchen, which was aflame, crawled about 24 feet through the living room and a hall to reach Victoria’s bedroom, where he found the girls. Davey took Victoria through the apartment to the front door, then turned and crawled back to the bedroom. Following the same course, he took Wyndi through the apartment to safety. Davey entered the apartment a third time in search of Victoria’s mother, but worsening conditions repelled him. She was rescued by firefighters, who arrived shortly. Victoria and Wyndi required hospital treatment for smoke inhalation, and they recovered.
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Timothy Lee Hays
Bruce M. Baker
Timothy Lee Hays and Bruce M. Baker saved Randall J. Shaver from burning, Rochester, Indiana, April 13, 1998. Shaver, 44, state trooper, was suspended by his safety belt inside his patrol car, which had overturned and started to burn on its underside after a head-on collision. Hays, 31, store manager, who arrived first at the scene, approached the patrol car and attempted to open its driver’s door. He was unsuccessful. Baker, 52, that county’s sheriff, who also had arrived at the scene shortly after the accident, joined Hays, and the two men together then pulled the door open. As Hays left to obtain a fire extinguisher, Baker partially entered the car, despite the nearby flames, and cut Shaver’s safety belt with a pocketknife, freeing him. He grasped Shaver and, with Hays, who had returned by then, pulled him from the car as it was becoming quickly engulfed by flame. They dragged him away but sought refuge on the ground when ammunition in the burning car began to explode. Shaver was hospitalized for treatment of multiple, serious injuries.
72673-8292 / 72674-8293
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Ulutunu Faumuina, deceased
Ulutunu Faumuina died attempting to save family members from burning, Honolulu, Hawaii, October 15, 1997. Faumuina, 52, cook, and eight members of his family were in the family’s one-story house when, at night, fire broke out in the crawl space beneath the house. Alerted to the fire by his wife, Faumuina exited the house and was seen descending the stairs to ground level to look into the crawl space. He then re-entered the house, flames growing quickly to engulf its underside and spread inside. Faumuina responded to the bedroom belonging to his daughter and her family as his wife fled the burning structure through the window of another bedroom. Conditions deteriorated rapidly, and the house was shortly engulfed by flame. Faumuina was found in the daughter’s bedroom, cradling one of his granddaughters; they had died of effects of the fire, as had five other members of the family.
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Robert E. Mohr
Robert E. Mohr saved Emily Marshall from being struck by a train, Lafayette, Indiana, May 12, 1998. Emily, 1, had wandered from her home to a nearby railroad track and was on the track as a freight train was approaching at about 24 m.p.h. Seeing her there, Mohr, 48, the train’s conductor, immediately left the cab of the lead locomotive and, the train then in emergency braking, assumed a position at the bottom of a set of stairs that extended to ground level at the front of the locomotive. Emily, meanwhile, moved to a point just outside one of the rails but remained in the path of the train. Crouching, Mohr extended his right leg in front of the train as it approached Emily, and when it reached her, he swung his leg and struck her, pushing her out of the train’s path. Mohr then jumped from the moving train and ran to Emily, who was lying beside the track. He picked her up and took her to arriving paramedics. Emily required hospital treatment for lacerations to her head that needed sutures, and she recovered. Mohr recovered from sore muscles and a minor scrape.
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Nathan L. Moore
Nathan L. Moore rescued Joseph E. Parker from assault, Avondale Estates, Georgia, May 2, 1998. Parker, 44, was driving a city bus from a station when a male passenger armed with a concealed knife suddenly began to stab him. As other passengers left the vehicle, Moore, 36, carpenter, made his way to the front of the bus and intervened. At that, the assailant pushed Parker away and stabbed Moore in the shoulder, deeply. Parker having fled the bus, the assailant and Moore struggled for control of the knife. A police officer, armed with a gun, baton, and chemical spray, boarded the bus and attempted to subdue the assailant, enabling Moore to flee the bus with the knife, which he had secured. The assailant then left the bus but was immediately apprehended by police. Parker was hospitalized for treatment, including surgery, of six stab wounds. Moore was hospitalized overnight for treatment of his stab wound, which also required surgery, and a cut to his thumb.
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Barry D. Craggy
Barry D. Craggy attempted to save Kathleen Cole from suffocation, Burlington, Ontario, March 30, 1998. Ms. Cole, 75, was in her home after fire erupted in the living room. A neighbor, Craggy, 54, tile and marble contractor, was alerted by his wife to the fire, and he went to the scene. As the front door to the house was locked, Craggy forced entry with an ax. By then, smoke had filled the living room, obscuring visibility except for a narrow band at the floor. Craggy lay on the floor and, below the smoke, saw Ms. Cole, who was lying on the living room floor. He crawled to her, grasped her by her hands, then crawled back to the front door, pulling her. Craggy’s wife then helped him carry Ms. Cole onto the lawn, where Craggy attempted to revive her. Ms. Cole was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead of smoke inhalation. Craggy sustained a cut on his hand from broken glass, and he recovered.
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Daniel A. Frister
San Diego, California
Daniel A. Frister helped to rescue Juanita M. Patterson from burning, San Diego, California, June 25, 1998. Ms. Patterson, 84, was in a bedroom of her one-story home when fire broke out in that room, setting Ms. Patterson’s attire and a chair aflame. She called for help, attracting the attention of her son-inlaw, who also was in the house, and a neighbor, Frister, 62, regional service manager, who was in his yard. Although disabled by a heart condition, Frister forced open the front door of the burning house and crawled through a hall to Ms. Patterson’s bedroom, joining her son-in-law, who also had responded to the bedroom. Frister and the son-in-law grasped Ms. Patterson, who was lying on the bedroom floor, and dragged her through the hall toward the front door. After leaving the house to alert help, Frister returned to Ms. Patterson and, with the son-in-law, took her the remaining distance outside to safety. Ms. Patterson sustained serious burns and died the next day. Frister suffered a heart attack immediately after the rescue, requiring two days’ hospital treatment. He sustained also smoke inhalation and a burn to one hand, from which he recovered.
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Gary Lester Johns
Coos Bay, Oregon
Gary Lester Johns helped to save a man from drowning, Portland, Oregon, April 9, 1998. A 30-year-old man jumped from a bridge into the Columbia River, in sight of patrons of a nearby restaurant, including Johns, 41, business operator. Seeing that the man was being carried downstream by the current and that he appeared to be tiring from any attempt to reach the bank, Johns left the restaurant and ran along the bank, following the man’s course. Although recovering from serious burns to his legs sustained three weeks earlier, Johns entered the water, with a piece of wooden debris that he had picked up, and swam toward the man. He abandoned the effort when the wooden piece proved too cumbersome to manipulate. Johns returned to the bank but then re-entered the river after securing an old life ring from a nearby residence. Holding the life ring in front of him, Johns kicked and maneuvered to the man, reaching him at a point about 300 feet from the bank and a half-mile from the bridge. A river patrol boat responded to the scene, recovered the man and Johns, and took them to the bank. The man required hospitalization, and Johns was cold and tired, but he recovered.
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