PITTSBURGH, PA, MARCH 18, 2004—In its first award announcement of 2004, 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. Three of the awardees died in the performance of their heroic acts.
The heroes announced today bring to 8,783 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 100 years since the Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, $27 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.
The awardees are:
- Jon M. Shelby, Millville, Calif.
- Jeremy Arthur Sizemore, deceased, Felicity, Ohio
- Jimmie Michael Acreman, Lake Wales, Fla.
- Arden Daniel Duncan, deceased, Greenville, S.C.
- Patrick Dennis Coughlan, Linden, Texas
- Raymond A. Going, Jr., Garden City South, N.Y.
- Christopher Coburn, London, Ont.
- Kerilyn Belle Crawford, Navasota, Texas
- Scott McGuire, Tallahassee, Fla.
- Bobby Jack McGuire, Tallahassee, Fla.
- Richard Domotor, Sr., Kendall Park, N.J.
- Douglas M. Espey, Qualicum Beach, B.C.
- Brett Michael Schott, Vancouver, Wash.
- Julian Thomas Covella, Ukiah, Calif.
- Terry L. Smith, Graham, Texas
- Andrea Ivie Webb, Corsicana, Texas
- Dorothy P. Barnes, Westfield, Mass.
- Bruce A. Hornecker, Millburn, N.J.
- Neil Jay Rosenberg, deceased, Westerly, R.I.
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
Jon M. Shelby
Jon M. Shelby saved Daniel McConville from burning, Dunsmuir, California, July 13, 2002. McConville, 63, was inside his mobile home after fire erupted in the kitchen. Driving nearby, Shelby, 46, contractor, saw smoke and stopped at the scene. He approached the home and, unable to see inside because of dense smoke, called out to see if anyone was there. McConville answered him. Shelby entered the home but was repulsed by smoke. He entered a second time, crawling, but was again forced out. On a third attempt, he crawled to McConville, whom he found sitting in a chair in the living room, about 10 feet from the door. Shelby grasped McConville, pulled him to the floor, and dragged him to the front door, then from the structure. McConville was hospitalized for treatment of smoke inhalation.
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Jeremy Arthur Sizemore, deceased
Jeremy Arthur Sizemore died saving Princess A. D. Sizemore from burning, Felicity, Ohio, November 18, 2002. Princess, 10, and Sizemore, 19, were in bedrooms of their familyís single-story house at night after fire broke out in Princess’s bedroom. Princess awoke to the fire and began to scream. Sizemore responded to her room, took her by the hand, and went to the adjoining kitchen, which contained the back door to the house. He collapsed to the floor in the kitchen, and Princess fled the house through the back door. She required hospital treatment for smoke inhalation, and she recovered. Firefighters found Sizemore’s body near the back door; he had died of smoke inhalation.
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Jimmie Michael Acreman
Lake Wales, Florida
Jimmie Michael Acreman helped to rescue Alex D. McKay from burning, Lake Wales, Florida, November 15, 2002. Badly burned, McKay, 84, was trapped on the side porch of his house after a gas explosion in the house at night that set it fully aflame. The roof was blown off the house, and a section of it lay against the porch, blocking access from the outside. At work nearby, Acreman, 53, mechanic, heard the explosion and, responding to the scene, learned that McKay was trapped in the burning structure. Acreman scaled the roof debris, then jumped through an opening in it to the floor of the porch. With his cap, he extinguished flames on McKay, then stood him up and hoisted him through the debris to the hands of other rescuers, who took him to safety. Acreman then climbed from the porch and through the roof debris and descended to the ground. The house was destroyed in the explosion and fire. McKay was hospitalized for treatment of extensive and severe burns, and he died of them the following day. Acreman sustained minor burns on his hands, from which he recovered.
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Arden Daniel Duncan, deceased
Greenville, South Carolina
Arden Daniel Duncan died attempting to rescue Justin M. Link from burning, Greenville, South Carolina, January 19, 2003. At night, Justin, 3, was in a bedroom of his familyís home after fire broke out in the adjoining living room. His father, Duncan, 38, rooferís helper, discovered the fire and aided in the evacuation of other family members through the kitchen door of the one-story house. Despite flames spreading quickly, Duncan re-entered the house for Justin. A sheriffís deputy who arrived shortly and others also attempted entry, but they were thwarted by deteriorating conditions. Justin and Duncan were recovered from Justin’s bedroom after firefighters extinguished the blaze. Both had died of burns and smoke inhalation.
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Patrick Dennis Coughlan
Patrick Dennis Coughlan rescued Sherry Gillespie from assault, Linden, Texas, May 11, 2003. Ms. Gillespie, 41, a police officer, was struggling with the man she was attempting to detain, in the parking lot of a supermarket. Coughlan, 53, musician, was about to enter the store when he saw the man pushing and shoving Ms. Gillespie. After telling one of the store’s cashiers to call police, Coughlan returned to the parking lot and started toward Ms. Gillespie, en route seeing that she and the assailant were fighting for control of her gun. Reaching them, Coughlan wrested the gun away, aimed it at the assailant, and ordered him to freeze. Ms. Gillespie took the assailant to the pavement and handcuffed him. She required hospital treatment for minor injury.
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Raymond A. Going, Jr.
Garden City South, New York
Raymond A. Going, Jr., saved Biggio Ferrara from burning, Garden City South, New York, April 4, 2003. Ferrara, 80, called for help from the first-floor bathroom of his two-story house after fire broke out in the adjoining kitchen and grew, filling the house with dense smoke. A neighbor, Going, 35, off-duty firefighter, responded to the scene, where he found that flames blocked direct access to the bathroom. Going then broke out the glass of a window in another room adjoining the bathroom and climbed through it. Crouching, he searched through the dense smoke for Ferrara, calling him by name. He found Ferrara in the vicinity of the bathroom doorway and, grasping him by his clothing, pulled him to the open window. He passed Ferrara through the window to a police officer who had arrived, then exited the house himself through the window. Ferrara was hospitalized two weeks for treatment of smoke inhalation, and he recovered.
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Christopher Coburn saved a woman from assault, London, Ontario, January 24, 2003. A 46-year-old woman, the assistant manager of a bank, was seated at her desk when a man approached her, put a knife to her throat, and, threatening to kill her, demanded money. Coburn, 54, bank manager, was in his office at the opposite end of the bank when he was alerted to the situation. He approached to within 10 feet of the assailant, who warned him not to get any closer. Coburn spoke to the assailant, asking to be held hostage in place of the assistant manager. The assailant eventually agreed. He released the assistant manager, then held the knife to Coburn’s throat. Coburn resumed conversing with the assailant and continued to do so as police entered the bank and joined in the dialogue. After several minutes, the assailant relinquished the knife and surrendered.
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Kerilyn Belle Crawford
Kerilyn Belle Crawford rescued Caleb J. Orlando from an attacking dog, Navasota, Texas, January 29, 2003. Caleb, 6, entered the fenced-in yard of a neighbor’s residence and was attacked by the neighbor’s mixed-breed dog, which weighed about 75 pounds. Kerilyn, 13, student, was visiting at the residence. Alerted to the attack, she left the residence, jumped from the porch to the ground, and approached Caleb. She grasped the dog by its collar and struck it on the head. The dog released its grasp on Caleb, who then fled the yard at Kerilyn’s direction. Kerilyn returned Caleb to his nearby home. He was taken to the hospital, where he was detained a week for treatment, including surgery, of his bite wounds, which required well over 100 sutures.
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Bobby Jack McGuire
Scott and Bobby Jack McGuire rescued Joshua L. Boyett from burning, Tallahassee, Florida, January 27, 2003. Boyett, 19, was unconscious in the driver’s seat of a pickup truck after an accident at night in which the vehicle left the road, struck a tree, and caught fire in its engine compartment. At his nearby home, Scott McGuire, 28, telephone repair technician, heard the accident. He ran to the truck and attempted to open its doors, but they were jammed shut. His father, Bobby Jack McGuire, 70, retired military officer, who also lived nearby, responded to the scene with a fire extinguisher, which he used against the flames but to little effect. Scott climbed into the bed of the truck and broke out its back window. His father joined him there, and together they reached through the window, grasped Boyett, and pulled him from the cab as flames were starting to enter it. After extinguishing flames on Boyett’s trousers, the men took him from the pickup bed to the ground, then carried him away from the truck, the cab of which was shortly engulfed by flames. Boyett required hospital treatment for burns to his left arm and leg and other injury. He recovered. Scott inhaled smoke but recovered that day.
76667-8765 / 76666-8766
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Richard Domotor, Sr.
Kendall Park, New Jersey
Richard Domotor, Sr., helped to save Scott A. and saved Christopher J. Brown from drowning, Ledgedale, Pennsylvania, July 5, 2003. Scott, 2, and his brother Christopher, 8 months old, were restrained in car seats secured to the rear seat of a sport utility vehicle that rolled down a boat ramp and began to submerge in Lake Wallenpaupack. Nearby on the bank, Domotor, 44, off-duty police officer, saw the accident. He immediately ran to the ramp, then entered the water and swam to the vehicle. He entered the vehicle head first through the opened driver’s window, extended his upper body into the backseat area, and, with assistance from the boys’ father, who also had swum out, freed Scott from his car seat. Removed from the vehicle by his father, Scott was taken to the bank. As Domotor worked to free Christopher from his seat, the vehicle, then about 40 feet from the bank, quickly sank the 12 feet to the bottom of the lake, taking Domotor with it. With no visibility in the murky water, Domotor continued his attempt to free Christopher, then, running out of air, yanked him from the seat. He cradled the boy under his arm, exited the vehicle through the driver’s window, and surfaced. Although nearly exhausted, Domotor swam back to the bank, Christopher on his chest, then lay on the ramp to recover. Christopher was taken to the hospital, where he was found to be uninjured, as was Scott.
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Douglas M. Espey
Qualicum Beach, British Columbia
Douglas M. Espey helped to rescue Madeline M. Urquhart from burning, Parksville, British Columbia, July 30, 2002. Ms. Urquhart, 67, was inside her home, a unit of a one-story duplex, after fire erupted in the bedroom and spread to other rooms. Espey, 27, sheet metal worker, was visiting his grandparents, who lived nearby, when they became aware of the fire. Espey and his grandfather went to the scene, where they evacuated the tenant from the other unit. Looking through a window of Ms. Urquhart’s unit, they saw Ms. Urquhart amid flames in the living room. Espey and his grandfather responded to the living room door, requiring them to cross an attached carport, the roof of which was burning. Espey entered the living room through the door, which was open and through which smoke and flames issued. He grasped Ms. Urquhart, who was aflame, and took her to the carport, where he and his grandfather patted out the flames on her. The men then carried Ms. Urquhart to safety. She was hospitalized for treatment of serious burns.
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Brett Michael Schott
Julian Thomas Covella
Brett Michael Schott and Julian Thomas Covella rescued Marcus Young from assault, Ukiah, California, March 7, 2003. While securing a shoplifting suspect in his patrol car, which was parked in the lot of a department store, Young, 40, a police officer, was approached by the suspect’s male accomplice. The accomplice pulled a knife on Young, and the two men struggled for control of it. The assailant then produced a revolver and shot Young repeatedly at point-blank range, inflicting severe injury. Schott, 28, loss prevention associate at the store, was nearby in the parking lot and witnessed the shooting. He ran to the men, who had continued to struggle, and struck the assailant repeatedly, then wrested the gun from him and discarded it. The assailant stabbed Schott in the upper side of his chest, inflicting a severe wound, then gained access to the patrol car. Julian, 17, high school student, had accompanied Young to the scene as a volunteer police cadet. Having sought refuge behind a parked vehicle nearby, he radioed for assistance, then left his cover to approach Young. He removed Young’s pistol from its holster and handed it to him for his use in dispatching the assailant. Young and Schott were taken to the hospital, where they were detained for treatment of their wounds, both requiring surgery.
76752-8777 / 76945-8778
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Terry L. Smith
Terry L. Smith saved William T. Minor IV from burning, Montague, Texas, February 13, 2003. Minor, 37, was unconscious in the driver’s seat of an automobile after a highway accident in which the vehicle was struck in the rear by another. The car’s fuel tank was ruptured, and the vehicle broke into flames at its rear, flames then spreading to the rear interior. Approaching the scene in his vehicle, Smith, 46, construction foreman, witnessed the accident. He responded to the burning and smoke-filled car and, with difficulty, forced the driver’s door open. Extending the upper half of his body into the car across Minor, Smith released Minor’s safety belt, and he extinguished Minor’s smoldering hair and shirt. As Minor roused, Smith pulled him out of the car and to his feet, then led him to safety moments before the interior of the car filled with flame. Minor was hospitalized overnight for treatment of his injuries, but he was not burned.
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Andrea Ivie Webb
Andrea Ivie Webb rescued Kimberly D. Crow and 17 other students from assault, Ennis, Texas, May 15, 2001. Kimberly, 16, the other students, and their teacher Ms. Webb, 53, were in a high school classroom when another student, a boy, 16, entered the room, produced a loaded revolver, and held them at gunpoint. Standing between her students and the assailant, Ms. Webb talked to the assailant, asking him to release the others. He refused and instead told Ms. Webb to leave the room. Forfeiting her opportunity to flee, Ms. Webb offered herself as a hostage in the students’ place. The assailant allowed all of the students except Kimberly to leave the room, then he and Kimberly talked, Ms. Webb shielding Kimberly behind her back. Becoming more agitated, the assailant approached Ms. Webb, aimed the gun at her, then turned and fired into a nearby television. He then put the gun to his head and fired again, inflicting a mortal wound. Ms. Webb pushed Kimberly to the floor and shielded her with her body. Police arrived and removed Kimberly and Ms. Webb from the classroom.
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Dorothy P. Barnes
Dorothy P. Barnes helped to rescue Helena G. Couto from an attacking alligator, Englewood, Florida, February 23, 2003. Ms. Couto, 72, was trimming a bush adjacent to a small pond on the premises of the condominium complex where she resided. Unseen by her, a 100-pound alligator approached and grasped her by the right forearm. Holding onto the bush with her left hand, Ms. Couto struggled against the alligator as it started to drag her toward the pond. She shouted for help, attracting the attention of a friend and neighbor, Ms. Barnes, 72, retired insurance agency employee, who was walking nearby. Ms. Barnes ran to the scene, where she grabbed Ms. Couto by the ankles and pulled, and she too screamed for help. Twisting and rolling, the alligator pulled at Ms. Couto’s arm, partially severing it, as Ms. Barnes kept Ms. Couto from being dragged into the pond. Another resident of the complex arrived, and he used bush cuttings against the alligator to thwart the attack. Having severed Ms. Couto’s arm at the elbow, the alligator retreated to the pond. Ms. Couto was taken to the hospital, where she was detained for five days; reattachment of the arm, which was retrieved after the alligator was shot, was not successful.
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Bruce A. Hornecker
Millburn, New Jersey
Bruce A. Hornecker saved Lee Geller from burning, Millburn, New Jersey, November 29, 2002. Ms. Geller, 92, was in her second-floor apartment, which filled with smoke after fire erupted in the apartment below. An off-duty firefighter who lived nearby, Hornecker, 45, was alerted to the fire and responded to the scene, where he learned that Ms. Geller had not exited. Hornecker entered the building and climbed the stairs to the second floor, where dense smoke precluded any visibility. He crawled to the open door of Ms. Geller’s apartment and continued into the kitchen, calling to Ms. Geller. Brushing against her feet, Hornecker found Ms. Geller standing in the kitchen. He stood, picked her up, and carried her out of the apartment and through the dense smoke down to the first floor. They exited the building. Hornecker then re-entered and forced open the door to the first-floor apartment. He crawled inside, calling to anyone who might be there. Repulsed by smoke, he retreated. Both Ms. Geller and Hornecker were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene, and Hornecker was hospitalized overnight for additional treatment. He recovered.
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Neil Jay Rosenberg, deceased
Westerly, Rhode Island
Neil Jay Rosenberg saved Robert L. Ingram and died attempting to rescue Crystal L. and Carol Ingram and Tara Verrier from burning, Westerly, Rhode Island, July 17, 2002. Ingram, 68, who required the use of a wheelchair, was in a first-floor bedroom of his family’s two-story house after fire broke out in the living room in the early morning. Alerted to the fire, his stepson, Rosenberg, 23, cook, responded to his bedroom from the second floor and evacuated Ingram from the house, through its back door. Rosenberg then turned and re-entered the house, in which flames were spreading quickly. He was next seen at a window in the second-floor bedroom of his half sisters, Crystal, 10, and Carol, 9. They died in the fire, as did Rosenberg’s girlfriend, Ms. Verrier, 21, who was in another bedroom on the second floor.
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