Carnegie Medals awarded to 20
for extraordinary acts of heroism
PITTSBURGH, PA, DECEMBER 21, 2004—In its fifth and final award announcement of 2004, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission today named 20 individuals from throughout the United States and Canada as recipients of the CARNEGIE MEDAL. The bronze medal is given to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others. Two of the awardees died as a result of their heroic acts.
The heroes announced today bring to 105 the number of persons who have been recognized by the Commission in 2004 and to 8,869 the total number 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, $27.5 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.
The awardees are:
|David Ware||Brampton, Ont.|
|Taj Matney||Sonora, Calif.|
|Douglas John Sauer||Marine City, Mich.|
|John Valenti||New Haven, Conn.|
|Jeffrey Glenn Russell, deceased||Tacoma, Wash.|
|William O. Carpenter||Fairmont, W. Va.|
|James W. Eakle, deceased||Fairmont, W. Va.|
|James Wayne Watkins||Fairmont, W. Va.|
|Richard R. Patey||Jacksonville Beach, Fla.|
|Debra Nicholls||Trabuco Canyon, Calif.|
|Fred A. Bryant||Waxahachie, Texas|
|Gerard F. Dean||Centereach, N.Y.|
|Terry R. Pease||Cambria, Wis.|
|Robert K. Barth||Pardeeville, Wis.|
|Belinda Lee Rose||Pass Lake, Ont.|
|David Lee||Apopka, Fla.|
|Wayne R. Christiansen||Toms River, N.J.|
|Orlando N. Jones||Fayetteville, N.C.|
|Thomas R. Gustin||Sag Harbor, N.Y.|
|David D. Bartaway||Trenton, Mich.|
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
David Ware rescued Lisa Suzuki from an attacking dog, Brampton, Ontario, October 20, 2003. Lisa, 5, was walking along a residential sidewalk when an adult, male pit bull approached and charged her, knocking her to the ground. Grasping her by the coat, the 67-pound dog shook her as her mother attempted unsuccessfully to free her. Ware, 50, industrial mechanic, witnessed the attack as he drove by. He parked and approached Lisa, but the dog turned on him, lunging at him. They went to the ground, Ware struggling against the dog to restrain it while Lisa fled. The struggle lasted for several minutes, during which Ware was bitten repeatedly. The dog then broke from Ware and charged a responding police officer. The officer shot the dog, disabling it. Lisa suffered minor injuries about the face and head, and she recovered. Ware required hospital treatment for puncture wounds to his face, hands, and arms. He too recovered.
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Taj Matney rescued David N. Guldner from burning, Knights Ferry, California, October 13, 2003. Guldner, 41, was the driver of a pickup truck that left the highway, went into a ravine, and came to a stop on its passenger side at the base of the 25-foot-deep ravine. Dazed and injured, he attempted to exit the vehicle as flames erupted on the grass beneath its engine. Motorists stopping at the scene included Matney, 33, electrician. He descended the ravine to the pickup then climbed atop it and attempted to pull Guldner through the driver’s window. Guldner was caught in the wreckage, and flames entering the cab surrounded his lower body. Matney struggled, freeing Guldner, then pulled him, aflame, from the pickup. He and two other men smothered some of the flames on Guldner then dragged him back up to the highway. Guldner required extensive hospitalization for treatment of third-degree burns to 40 percent of his body. Matney was treated at a hospital for a minor burn and abrasion to his hands, and he recovered.
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Douglas John Sauer
Marine City, Michigan
Douglas John Sauer helped to save Michael F. Goode from drowning, Harrison Township, Michigan, January 19, 2003. Goode, 49, was operating his snowmobile on ice-covered Lake St. Clair when the ice gave way beneath him about three-fourths of a mile from shore and he fell into water about six feet deep. The air temperature was about 15 degrees, but winds compounded its chill. Ice fishermen, including Sauer, 23, cement mason, responded to the scene, where their efforts to throw a line to Goode were unsuccessful. Sauer, who was wearing a life jacket, had one end of the line tied to him, then he lay prone and began to crawl toward Goode. The ice broke beneath him. After others pulled him back onto solid ice, Sauer stood and ran toward Goode, then plunged into the open water. Momentarily stunned by its coldness, Sauer swam about 80 feet to Goode, reaching and holding to him from behind. The other fishermen pulled on the line and returned them to the edge of solid ice, then hauled them out of the water. They were taken by all-terrain vehicles to shore, where rescue personnel were waiting. Goode was hospitalized for hypothermia, and he recovered. Sauer declined medical attention at the scene but required two days to recover from exposure to the cold water.
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New Haven, Connecticut
John Valenti helped to rescue Michael Van Growski from assault, Stratford, Connecticut, February 3, 2004. Van Growski, 27, a police officer, was assaulted by a man he was attempting to question in the parking lot of a store. They went to the pavement, where the assailant struck Van Growski repeatedly and, attempting to get his service revolver, threatened to kill him. Valenti, 66, postal service truck driver, was parked nearby and saw the men struggling. He ran to a point behind the assailant, who was atop Van Growski, pinning him, and punched him. When the assailant resumed his attempt to get at the revolver, Valenti held to him until other officers, arriving shortly, apprehended him. Van Growski was treated at the hospital for lacerations and contusions, and Valenti required medical treatment for a laceration to his hand. Both men recovered.
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Jeffrey Glenn Russell, deceased
Jeffrey Glenn Russell died attempting to save Joseph B. Bailey from drowning, Orick, California, January 2, 2004. While playing on a Pacific Ocean beach, Joseph, 8, was pulled into the rough surf, then taken out from shore. His mother, who was nearby, ran into the water for him, but they were separated in the waves. Joseph’s uncle, Russell, 38, construction company superintendent, was at the beach parking area when he was alerted to the situation. He immediately ran to the beach, then continued running into the 50-degree water and swam out to Joseph, who was then about 40 feet from shore. Russell held Joseph to his chest as they were carried by a strong longshore current over the course of several minutes. During that time, Joseph was lost to sight of those on shore, then Russell. Responding rescue personnel recovered Russell from the surf at a point about 1,500 feet from where he had entered the water. He could not be revived, as he had drowned. Joseph was not found.
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William O. Carpenter
Fairmont, West Virginia
James W. Eakle, deceased
Fairmont, West Virginia
James Wayne Watkins
Fairmont, West Virginia
William O. Carpenter saved Chris Howard from drowning, and James W. Eakle and James Wayne Watkins saved Cody Davis, Fairmont, West Virginia, June 14, 2003. After a heavy rain, Chris, 7, and his half brother, Cody, 8, and another boy were caught up in the floodwaters of Scratchers Run Creek and swept downstream by the extremely swift current. Carpenter, 52, whose home was on the bank of the creek, and Eakle, 66, retired mechanic who also lived nearby, were watching the floodwaters when they were alerted to Chris approaching. Carpenter immediately ran into the muddy floodwater and assumed a stance in thigh-deep water. When Chris reached him, he seized the boy by an arm and threw him to safety in shallow water. They left the creek. Seeing Cody wash by, Carpenter and Eakle then ran along the road bordering the creek after him. Taken several hundred feet, Cody managed to cling to a tree on the opposite bank. Watkins, 34, was traveling the road when he was alerted to Cody’s situation by a neighbor. He ran to the creek, then jumped into it from a point just upstream of Cody and let the current carry him to the boy. Grasping Cody with one arm and the tree with the other, Watkins kept Cody’s head above water. Responding by then but unable to reach them, Eakle and Carpenter ran a long course to a point on the opposite bank above Cody and Watkins. Eakle descended to the level of the creek, then, although he could not swim, waded into it and pulled Cody and Watkins to safety. Watkins revived the boy, then Eakle took him to awaiting paramedics. Chris and Cody, who suffered a bruise to his head, were taken to the hospital, where they were detained a day for treatment of hypothermia. The third boy drowned. Watkins sustained cuts and bruises. Eakle was returning home when he suffered chest pains. He too was taken to the hospital, where he lapsed into a coma, from which he did not recover. He died seven weeks later.
77108-8855 / 76995-8856 / 77441-8857
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Richard R. Patey
Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Richard R. Patey saved Ana S. Hernandez from burning, Jacksonville, Florida, October 21, 2003. Ms. Hernandez, 82, was lying in bed after fire erupted in a carport at the opposite end of her one-story house and spread to its interior. Passing motorists, including Patey, 40, taxicab driver, and others discovered the fire and gathered at the scene. Learning that the house was probably occupied, Patey opened a sliding-glass door at the back of the structure and called to anyone inside. When Ms. Hernandez responded, Patey entered the living room, which was filling with smoke, and proceeded through a hall toward the bedrooms. He forced open the door to Ms. Hernandez’s room, then picked her up and carried her out of the bedroom, through the hall and living room, and outside. Flames spread throughout the house and destroyed it, and they reached the vehicle and house of the next-door neighbor. Ms. Hernandez and Patey required hospital treatment for smoke inhalation, and they recovered.
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Trabuco Canyon, California
Debra Nicholls helped to rescue Anne M. Hjelle from an attacking mountain lion, Lake Forest, California, January 8, 2004. Ms. Hjelle, 30, was riding her bicycle in a county park when a 122-pound mountain lion jumped on her back from the brush adjoining the trail. The lion took her to the ground, her neck in its jaws. Ms. Nicholls, 48, mountain bike racer, was riding with Ms. Hjelle and came upon the scene within moments. She immediately got off her bicycle and threw it at the lion, then she grasped Ms. Hjelle by the leg as the lion pulled her from the trail into the brush. The lion dragged Ms. Hjelle to a point about 30 feet from the trail, Ms. Nicholls continuing to provide resistance. Alerted by the women’s screams, other bicyclists responded and threw rocks at the lion. It released its grip on Ms. Hjelle and retreated. Ms. Nicholls and others carried Ms. Hjelle back to the trail, from which she was evacuated to a hospital. Detained there eight days, she required treatment, including surgery, for severe bite wounds to her neck and face. Ms. Nicholls sustained scratches to her legs from the brush, and she recovered.
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Fred A. Bryant
Fred A. Bryant rescued Daniel Oh from burning, Red Oak, Texas, May 18, 2003. Daniel, 2, was a passenger in a car that caught fire in a collision with a tractor-trailer on an interstate highway. Demolished, its front end missing, the car came to rest alongside the tractor-trailer, which also caught fire. Motorists stopping at the scene included Bryant, 58, retired electronics technician. Bryant approached the car and, on hearing a child crying there, entered through the broken windshield, despite flames inside the vehicle. Extending all but his feet into the car, Bryant found Daniel, who was restrained in his safety seat, which was lodged in the back-seat area. Unable to free Daniel because of a tightly secured strap, Bryant exited the car and obtained a knife from a bystander. Re-entering, he cut the strap, freeing Daniel, and removed him from the car, then carried him to safety. The car was shortly engulfed by flames. Daniel required hospitalization for treatment of fractures and burns, and he recovered. His parents and grandmother, the other occupants of the vehicle, did not survive the accident. Bryant sustained only scrapes, from which he recovered.
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Gerard F. Dean
Centereach, New York
Gerard F. Dean helped attempt to save Calvin C. Kohart from drowning, Wading River, New York, October 6, 2003. Calvin, 14, struggled to stay afloat in Long Island Sound at a point about 300 feet from shore after the canoe he and two other boys had been using capsized. They shouted for help. Working at a house on a bluff overlooking the scene, Dean, 38, swimming pool service technician, saw the boys’ situation and immediately responded to the shoreline. Removing his shirts and boots, Dean entered the water and waded, then swam, to Calvin, the other boys having made it to wadable water. Dean grasped Calvin by his attire and returned toward shore, with difficulty against a strong current. Submerging, swallowing water, and tiring in the cold water, Dean called out for help. A coworker took one end of a line out to Dean, enabling him, with Calvin, to be pulled the remaining distance to shore, where Dean lost consciousness. He was revived at the scene, then was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for hypothermia. He subsequently developed acute renal failure and required a hospital stay. He recovered. Calvin could not be revived.
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Terry R. Pease
Robert K. Barth
Terry R. Pease saved Lindsey M. Bauer and with Robert K. Barth saved Melissa M. Bauer from burning, Cambria, Wisconsin, August 25, 2003. Lindsey, 3, was in her car seat in the back seat of an automobile driven by her mother, Ms. Bauer, 26, when, in a highway accident, the car was knocked off the roadway and into a farmyard. Ms. Bauer was trapped in the wreckage, from which flames issued in the engine area. Pease, 40, quality assurance monitor, accompanied by a friend, Barth, 43, carpenter, drove upon the scene and stopped. Pease opened the car’s right rear door and removed Lindsey while Barth attempted to gain entry to the vehicle on its driver’s side. Unsuccessful, he entered the back-seat area of the car from its passenger side and pulled on the driver’s seat to free Ms. Bauer while Pease entered the front-seat area and did the same. Flames entering the car through its broken-out windshield ignited the dashboard and ceiling. After Barth managed to pull the seat back, Pease worked to free Ms. Bauer’s legs, which remained trapped underneath the dashboard. The men then maneuvered Ms. Bauer into the back seat and removed her from the car. Lindsey and Ms. Bauer required hospital treatment for injuries received during the collision, but neither was burned. Pease sustained minor burns to his hands and head, and Barth strained back muscles during the rescue. They recovered.
77387-8862 / 77386-8863
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Belinda Lee Rose
Pass Lake, Ontario
Belinda Lee Rose helped to save a man from falling, Elora, Ontario, April 11, 2001. A 58-year-old man who was attempting suicide was at an outlook atop a 70-foot-high promontory at the convergence of the Grand and Irvine rivers. Beyond the 30-inch-high wall that rimmed the outlook was a narrow ledge that formed the far end of the promontory. On duty, Ms. Rose, 29, police officer, was called to the scene. On her arrival, the man, who had secured a rope to his neck, dived head first partially over the wall. Although he outweighed her by 120 pounds, Ms. Rose grasped the man about the lower legs and held to him as they balanced atop the wall, the man struggling against Ms. Rose and Ms. Rose losing her footing. Another officer arrived within minutes and pulled Ms. Rose and the man back to the safety of the landing. Both were taken to the hospital, where the man was treated for injury to his back. Ms. Rose required treatment for contusions and abrasions, and she recovered.
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David Lee helped to save Rachel A. Stewart and Erika G. Medlock from drowning, Apopka, Florida, December 31, 2003. Rachel, 6, and her grandmother, Ms. Medlock, 60, struggled to stay afloat in Page Lake after escaping a car that had entered the lake in darkness. On his adjacent ranch, Lee, 50, farmer, saw the car’s taillights in the water and heard screaming. He drove to the scene, then, removing his shirt and boots, entered the lake and waded and swam about 100 feet to the car. Rachel and Ms. Medlock were less than 10 feet from the car as Lee looked inside for anyone remaining there. After he had Rachel hold onto his shoulder, Lee approached Ms. Medlock, but in an ensuing struggle they submerged repeatedly. With Ms. Medlock submerged, Lee floated momentarily to catch his breath, then he located Ms. Medlock and pulled her to the surface. She was inert. Supporting Ms. Medlock with one arm, Lee swam toward the bank, Rachel holding to his shoulder. When they were almost there, others entered the water and took Rachel and Ms. Medlock from the lake. Ms. Medlock was hospitalized for treatment of having nearly drowned, and Lee, cold and nearly exhausted, developed bronchitis. Both recovered.
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Wayne R. Christiansen
Toms River, New Jersey
Wayne R. Christiansen saved Shirley A. Smalls from drowning, Toms River, New Jersey, December 13, 2003. Ms. Smalls, 60, was the driver of a sport utility vehicle that in an accident left the roadway and entered the Union Branch of the Toms River. Christiansen, 47, siding installer who lived nearby, witnessed the accident. He ran to the bank of the stream, removed his shoes, and, despite the 36-degree water, entered the stream and swam to the passenger side of the vehicle, which was about 10 feet from the bank. The vehicle still sinking, with water then to the bottom of its windows, Christiansen tried to open the front door but had no success. He opened the back door, entered the vehicle, and grasped Ms. Smalls, then backed from the vehicle, pulling her. Christiansen swam Ms. Smalls back to the bank, where others assisted them from the water. Ms. Smalls sustained contusions, and she recovered.
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Orlando N. Jones
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Orlando N. Jones helped to save Stephen L. Horner, Jr., from burning, Roseboro, North Carolina, November 22, 2003. Horner, 24, was trapped in the wreckage of his car after a highway accident involving five vehicles, four of which, including Horner’s, caught fire. He lay across the front seat, his legs pinned on the driver’s side, as flames issued from the engine area of his car. Jones, 43, contractor, witnessed the accident as he approached the scene. He stopped there and approached the passenger side of Horner’s car, joining another motorist who had responded. Jones and the other man reached through the opened passenger door, grasped Horner, and pulled on him, freeing him. They removed Horner from the car and dragged him away less than a minute before flames virtually engulfed the car. Horner required hospitalization for his injuries, and Jones aggravated a knee condition. The two occupants of one of the other involved cars died at the scene.
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Thomas R. Gustin
Sag Harbor, New York
Thomas R. Gustin helped to save a man from drowning, Sag Harbor, New York, October 15, 2003. A 62year-old man jumped from a bridge into Sag Harbor Bay in a suicide attempt and was carried away from the bridge by a strong tidal current. Having witnessed him jump, Gustin, 54, massage therapist, ran to the waterline from a parking lot at the end of the bridge. He saw the man struggling against the current in an apparent attempt to return to the bridge. Gustin removed his coat and shoes, entered the cold water, and swam about 150 feet to the man. He attempted to get him to swim out of the current and toward shore, but the man ignored him. After Gustin admonished and tugged at him, the man started to swim to shore with Gustin. A police officer who had arrived entered the water and took the man the remaining distance, Gustin leaving the bay on his own. The man required hospital treatment, and Gustin aggravated an existing knee injury, which took a year to heal.
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David D. Bartaway
David D. Bartaway attempted to save an indeterminate number of persons from being struck by a pickup truck, Trenton, Michigan, July 12, 2003. More than 100 people were attending an arts and crafts festival on a block-long section of a street that was closed to vehicular traffic, when a disoriented man drove a pickup truck past the barricades and continued down the street. Standing nearby, Bartaway, 42, letter carrier, saw the pickup approach, its speed about 10 m.p.h. Bartaway immediately ran about 75 feet to the driver’s side of the pickup and yelled at the driver to stop, but the driver ignored him. Running alongside the vehicle, Bartaway tried to open the door, but it was locked. He then grasped the outside mirror and pulled himself up to and head first partially through the opened driver’s window. His legs extending out of the truck as it continued on the street, Bartaway attempted to remove the vehicle’s ignition key and gain control of the steering wheel, but the driver resisted him by striking him repeatedly. After the pickup had traveled about 120 feet with him aboard, Bartaway pushed himself out the window. He fell to the pavement, landing face down. The pickup continued to an intersecting street, where it struck a delivery truck and came to a stop. Police officers at the festival arrested the driver. Bartaway was treated at the hospital for a broken nose, broken bones in one hand, and multiple cuts and bruises. He missed seven weeks’ work and required physical therapy and pain management treatment.
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