PITTSBURGH, PA, July 6, 2006—In its third award announcement of 2006, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission today named 15 individuals from throughout the United States and Canada as recipients of the CARNEGIE MEDAL. The medal is given 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 51 the number of individuals who have been recognized in 2006 to date and to 9,012 the total number of awards made since the Pittsburgh-based Fund’s inception in 1904. Commission President Mark Laskow stated that each of the awardees will also receive a grant of $4,000. Throughout the 102 years since the Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, $28.7 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.
One of the heroes, Justin Paul Faur, 23, of Teeds Grove, Iowa, died as the result of his heroic act. He was overcome by manure gases on April 16, 2005, while going to the aid of his employer, who himself had been overcome in a manure pit on his farm. Both men were shortly removed from the pit by firefighters but died in the days following the accident. Over the life of the Hero Fund, 1,888 posthumous awards have been made.
The awardees are:
- Stephen M. Foster, Indianapolis, Ind.
- Kenton William Boyden, Niagra Falls, Ont.
- James Trevor Scott, Niagra Falls, Ont.
- Lori Michelle Abbott, Regina, Sask.
- Mark Wayne Hebrink, Harmony, Minn.
- Todd M. Gore, Stockton, Calif.
- Randall S. Paulson, Jr., Livermore, Calif.
- Virginia D. Buhrow, Hot Springs, Ark.
- Dean Roggenkamp, Crestwood, Ill.
- Brandon Cashen, Orlando, Fla.
- David W. Bragg, Parker City, Ind.
- Jerry L. Hale, Parker City, Ind.
- Justin Paul Faur, deceased, Teeds Grove, Iowa
- Paul Thomas Labella, Chatsworth, Calif.
- Richard Lemieux, Montreal, Que.
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
Stephen M. Foster
Stephen M. Foster saved Robert S. Leech and rescued Hilda A. Frazier from burning, Indianapolis, Indiana, December 26, 2004. Leech, 92, and his wife Frazier, 79, were inside their one-story house after fire broke out in the attached garage and filled the house with dense smoke. Flames grew to overtake both an automobile parked in the garage and an enclosed breezeway that connected the garage to the house, at its living room. Foster, 43, contractor, who lived next door, responded to the structure after seeing it aflame. He entered the living room through a door off the breezeway and saw Leech standing in the kitchen. Foster went to him and tried to push him toward the door, but Leech fell. After Foster ran to the house’s front door and opened it, he returned to Leech and dragged him to that door. Others took Leech to safety. Foster re-entered the house, in which dense smoke by then precluded visibility, and began to crawl in search of Frazier. He found her about 10 feet from the door, then stood and pulled her to it. Others likewise took her to safety. Leech and Frazier required hospital treatment for smoke inhalation, and Frazier for burns. She died two days later. Foster was hospitalized overnight for treatment of smoke inhalation, and he sustained also a minor burn to a hand. He recovered.
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Kenton William Boyden
Niagara Falls, Ontario
James Trevor Scott
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Kenton William Boyden and James Trevor Scott helped to rescue Edward A. Bednarowski from assault, Niagara Falls, Ontario, February 18, 2004. Bednarowski, 38, a police officer, was attempting to question a suspect in a driveway off a residential street in early-evening darkness. The suspect produced a loaded handgun, aimed it at Bednarowski, and fired it at close range, but Bednarowski deflected the assailant’s gun hand and the shot missed. Going to the pavement, Bednarowski and the assailant then struggled for control of the gun. Boyden, 33, disabled contractor, who lived across the street, witnessed the assault. He returned to his house to alert a friend, Scott, 38, laborer, then responded with Scott to the scene. The men approached the struggle and lay atop the assailant, one on each side. They pinned his hands to the pavement as the assailant, still holding the gun, struggled against them. Other officers arrived shortly and disarmed and subdued the assailant, releasing Boyden and Scott. Bednarowski suffered minor injuries to a hand.
78702-8999 / 78703-9000
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Lori Michelle Abbott
Lori Michelle Abbott saved a boy from drowning, Lumsden, Saskatchewan, April 4, 2004. An 11-year-old boy fell through breaking ice on the Qu’Appelle River and, unable to climb from the water, shouted for help. Driving nearby, Abbott, 26, contract service provider, was alerted to the situation. When she responded to the riverbank, the boy told her he could no longer feel his feet and legs and that he was slipping from the ice. As the boy was closer to the opposite bank, Abbott crossed a nearby bridge to that bank, then removed her sweater and shoes. She entered the frigid water, which was over her depth, and swam to the ice sheet to which the boy was clinging. Raising herself onto the ice, Abbott crawled to the boy, then grasped him by an arm and pulled him from the water. Abbott and the boy crawled across the ice, re-entered the water, and swam to the closer bank. Others there assisted them from the river. The boy sustained mild hypothermia and scratches, and he recovered. Abbott sustained lacerations and contusions but did not require medical treatment. She recovered in a week.
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Mark Wayne Hebrink
Mark Wayne Hebrink rescued Charles F. Kayser from burning, Dunkerton, Iowa, August 12, 2005. Kayser, 33, was trapped in the cab of his pickup truck after a highway accident in which the pickup, struck by an automobile, veered into the path of an oncoming tractor-trailer. The pickup struck the tractor, rupturing the pickup’s fuel tank, and burst into flame after coming to rest in contact with the tractor. Hebrink, 45, truck driver, was driving the tractor-trailer. Exiting the vehicle uninjured, he saw Kayser attempting to escape the pickup, the doors of which were jammed. Despite flames engulfing the pickup, including its cab, Hebrink reached through the open window of the driver’s door, grasped Kayser, and pulled him from the vehicle. The men fell to the pavement, then stood and fled the immediate scene. Kayser rolled on the ground to extinguish the flames on him, then with Hebrink moved farther away as flames spread to the tractor, destroying it. Kayser was hospitalized three months for treatment of extensive, severe burns. Hebrink was hospitalized overnight for treatment of first- and second-degree burns to his right hand and forearm and an abrasion to his left knee.
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Todd M. Gore
Randall S. Paulson, Jr.
Todd M. Gore and Randall S. Paulson, Jr., saved a woman from falling, Pleasanton, California, March 16, 2005. In an apparent suicide attempt, a 26-year-old woman sat on the outside edge of an interstate highway overpass, at a point about 28 feet above the highway surface. Police were called to the scene, including Gore, 37, deputy sheriff, who responded from a neighboring municipality, and Paulson, 36, who, responding from the figuring municipality, took command of the situation. As Paulson talked to the woman, she suddenly fell from her position but grasped the top of a large sign that was affixed to the side of the overpass, and she dangled over the highway. Gore immediately climbed a chain-link fence along the edge of the overpass and lowered himself to a position atop the sign. Holding to the fence with one hand, he grasped the woman by the hand with his other, but he could not pull her up. Paulson then scaled the fence and lowered himself to a position atop the sign. He and Gore pulled the woman up to the top of the sign, then helped her scale the fence to where officers on the deck of the overpass assumed control of her. Gore and Paulson then climbed the fence to the safety of the overpass deck. The woman required hospital treatment.
78402-9003 / 78584-9004
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Virginia D. Buhrow
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Virginia D. Buhrow and Dean Roggenkamp helped to save a woman from drowning, Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 19, 2005. In a suicide attempt, a 65-year-old woman sat on the edge of a bridge spanning Lake Hamilton, at a point about 300 feet from the closer bank, then dropped 45 feet into the water. Buhrow, 40, business operator, was jogging on the bridge at the time and at the scene saw her floating on her back and calling out for help. A motorist on the bridge, Roggenkamp, 51, salesman, stopped at the scene and joined Buhrow. Deciding to enter the lake for the victim, they removed their shoes and together jumped feet first into the water, Roggenkamp hitting its surface hard on his side. Buhrow and Roggenkamp approached the victim, supported her under her back, and began to swim to the bank with her. Joined by another woman, who had swum out from the bank, the rescuers took the victim toward shore and near it were met by two fishermen responding in a boat. As the rescuers held to the boat and to the victim, the fishermen towed them to a nearby dock, where they left the lake. The victim survived but required hospitalization. Roggenkamp required hospital treatment for a contusion to his lung, and he recovered.
78530-9005 / 78602-9006
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Brandon Cashen saved Steven Scheiber and Daniel F. M. Lawlor from effects of an airplane crash, Orlando, Florida, January 11, 2005. Scheiber, 26, and Lawlor, 33, were aboard a single-engine light airplane that crashed while attempting an emergency landing at a golf course. The plane struck electric power lines and came to rest suspended by them, its right wing touching the ground. Cashen, 26, project manager, ran to the scene from the golf course. Seeing liquid escape from the engine and not knowing the status of the power in the lines, he climbed about six feet atop the wreckage and opened the cockpit’s left door. Scheiber and Lawlor were seriously injured and unconscious, and both had their safety belts fastened. With a pocketknife that a bystander provided, Cashen cut Scheiber’s safety belt, then maneuvered him from his seat and through the open door to other men who had responded. Those men carried Scheiber to safety. With some effort, Cashen kicked Scheiber’s seat out of the way, then he cut Lawlor’s safety belt and maneuvered him to the open cockpit door. He lowered Lawlor to arriving firefighters, then climbed down from the plane. Scheiber and Lawlor were taken to the hospital, where Lawlor died later that day. Scheiber was detained for treatment of multiple injuries, from which he recovered.
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David W. Bragg
Parker City, Indiana
Jerry L. Hale
Parker City, Indiana
David W. Bragg and Jerry L. Hale saved Timothy H. Hammer from being struck by a train, Parker City, Indiana, July 7, 2005. At a crossing, Hammer, 42, was attempting to cross a railroad track in his wheelchair when the front wheels of the chair got stuck. In an attempt to maneuver off the track, Hammer fell from the chair and landed between the rails. A train traveling at about 55 m.p.h. was approaching. Bragg, 47, manager, and Hale, 50, agricultural worker, were working outside a plant at the scene. They had heard the crossing’s warning bells, then looked to the track and saw Hammer fall. Bragg and Hale immediately ran to Hammer and grasped him about the arms as the train bore down at only slightly diminished speed. They dragged Hammer from the track just seconds before the train arrived and struck and destroyed Hammer’s wheelchair. Hammer sustained a broken leg bone, which required surgery. Bragg sustained a minor injury to an elbow but fully recovered.
78646-9008 / 78645-9009
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Justin Paul Faur, deceased
Teeds Grove, Iowa
Justin Paul Faur died after attempting to save Dwight R. Johnson from suffocation, Andover, Iowa, April 16, 2005. Johnson, 52, was overcome by fumes in a manure pit beneath the floor of a barn on his farm. Faur, 23, farmhand who worked for Johnson, found him there and alerted others, directing them to call for help. He then returned to the barn and was seen descending into the pit by means of a pump arm that had been placed there. Firefighters responded shortly, found both men unconscious at the bottom of the pit, and, using breathing apparatus, removed them. They were hospitalized for treatment of inhaling manure gases but died of the effects, Johnson, five days after the accident, and Faur, 14 days.
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Paul Thomas Labella
Paul Thomas Labella saved two boys from drowning, San Fernando, California, March 12, 2005. Two brothers, ages 11 and 13, entered the water of the Pacoima Wash and were swept away by the very swift current. Police officers responding to predetermined staging locations included Labella, 39, insurance investigator, who was on duty as a volunteer reserve officer. He arrived at the channel at a point about 1.5 miles from where the boys entered the water and shortly saw them approach. Labella threw a flotation device to the boys, but they failed to grasp it. Discarding his radio and weapon, Labella descended the sloped concrete bank of the channel and entered the water, which, although shallow, immediately knocked him from his feet. He caught up to the boys, secured them to his lap, and maintained his hold of them as all three were swept downstream. About three-quarters of a mile from where he had entered the water, Labella secured hold of a concrete projection in the middle of the channel that was the extension of a tunnel wall. Stopping their course at the entrance to the tunnel, Labella stood and, still holding the boys, awaited help. Firefighters responded after several minutes and removed the boys, then Labella, from the channel. Both boys and Labella were taken to the hospital, where the older boy was treated for shoulder pain. He recovered. Labella suffered hypothermia, abrasions, and sprains to both wrists.
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Richard Lemieux rescued a boy from burning, Montreal, Quebec, April 30, 2005. Late at night, a 16-year-old boy and his friend stood at an open window of the friend’s fourth-floor apartment and screamed for help, as fire had erupted in the apartment and trapped them. Lemieux, 46, off-duty firefighter who lived nearby, was awakened by the screams and went to investigate. Seeing the flames, he responded to the apartment building and ran up the stairs to the fourth floor, where smoke partially filled the hall. He opened the door to the burning apartment but was repulsed by fire conditions. Entering a neighboring apartment, Lemieux went to a window that was about four feet from the one in which he had seen the boy. Facing inside, he sat on the windowsill, his feet off the floor, and told the boy and his friend to step from their window to his. The boy, who outweighed Lemieux by about 70 pounds, left his window and, facing the building, stepped toward Lemieux. Releasing his handhold of the building and leaning through the window, Lemieux grasped the boy by his nightclothes and pulled him head first into the room with him. Firefighters who responded shortly rescued the friend. Both the boy and his friend sustained minor burns and were treated at the hospital.
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