Carnegie Medals awarded to 22
for extraordinary acts of heroism
PITTSBURGH, PA, JUNE 29, 2000–In its third award announcement of 2000, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission today named 22 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. One of the awardees died in the performance of his heroic act.
The heroes announced today bring to 61 the number of persons honored by the Commission in 2000 to date and to 8,402 the total number of awards made since the Pittsburgh-based Fund’s inception in 1904. Commission President Robert W. Off stated that each of the awardees will receive also a grant of $3,500. Throughout the 96 years since the Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, $24.2 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.
The awardees are:
|Cecil James Hehl||Chippewa Falls, Wisc.|
|Richard F. D. Smith||St. Catharines, Ont.|
|Randall H. Istre||Lake Arthur, La.|
|David L. Martin||Stanbridge East, Que.|
|Arthur Prisco||Holbrook, Mass.|
|Darryl R. Dupont||Fort Lauderdale, Fla.|
|Brent Kaufman||Sandy, Ore.|
|Edward K. Pullen III||Levittown, Pa.|
|Robert J. Loughlin, Jr.||Columbus, N.J.|
|Jon L. Lopez, deceased||North Baltimore, Ohio|
|Darlene May Shire||Calgary, Alta.|
|Debbra Cleveland||Las Vegas, Nev.|
|Mary Michelle Chipman||Las Vegas, Nev.|
|Brian J. Phillips||Morrisville, N.C.|
|Clayton MacDonald||Glace Bay, N.S.|
|Phillip W. Goldsmith||Houston, Texas|
|Michael S. Munn||Cullowhee, N.C.|
|James B. Stack||Whitefish, Mont.|
|Rosemary Russell||Sutton West, Ont.|
|Raymond Joseph||Tampa, Fla.|
|Timothy Todd Herrington||Port Neches, Texas|
|Michael A. Maltby||Sacramento, Calif.|
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
Cecil James Hehl
Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
Cecil James Hehl rescued Cecilia B. Schindler from burning, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, May 27, 1999. Ms. Schindler, 94, who required the use of a wheelchair, was alone in her second-floor apartment after fire broke out in the unit’s kitchen. Hehl, 50, maintenance worker for the building, was alerted to the fire by the sound of smoke detectors and ran to the burning apartment. Finding its door locked, he left to obtain a key and to report the fire. Returning, Hehl got down on his hands and knees at the opened door and, beneath the dense, black smoke that extended to within a foot of the floor, saw Ms. Schindler lying on the apartment’s kitchen floor. Entering the apartment, Hehl crawled to the kitchen, where flames had engulfed one of the walls and spread to Ms. Schindler’s wheelchair. Hehl grasped Ms. Schindler by her ankles and dragged her out of the kitchen, then through the living room to the apartment’s door, near which others aided him. Hehl and others carried Ms. Schindler to safety. Ms. Schindler was hospitalized for treatment of burns, from which she died four days later. Hehl was given oxygen at the scene for having inhaled smoke. He recovered.
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Richard F. D. Smith
St. Catharines, Ontario
Richard F. D. Smith helped to save Arthur A. Crisman, Jr., from drowning, Sugarcreek, Pennsylvania, January 8, 2000. Crisman, 64, remained in his car after it left the roadway in the dark and entered a small pond. The car broke through ice covering the pond and began to submerge nose first in frigid water about 10 feet deep. Smith, 37, automobile plant worker, and two friends stopped at the scene after seeing the car’s exposed rear lights, and they made verbal contact with Crisman. After discarding his jacket and boots and one end of a rope was tied around his waist, Smith jumped into the pond, breaking through ice along the bank. He then swam about 20 feet to the rear of the car. Smith mounted the car and, using a hammer that he had taken with him, broke out the car’s rear window to get to Crisman, who by then was in the car’s back seat. Water rushed through the rear window and the car submerged, along with both men. Unable to see in the dark, murky water, Smith reached through the rear window, put his arms around Crisman, and pulled him out of the car. The men on the bank pulled on the rope, taking Smith and Crisman to the surface of the water and then to the bank. Crisman and Smith were taken to the hospital, where Crisman was found to have sustained only minor injuries. Smith sustained multiple cuts to both hands, two of the cuts requiring sutures. It was later found that he had severed a tendon in his left hand. The injury required surgery, and a disabling nerve disorder ensued.
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Randall H. Istre
Lake Arthur, Louisiana
Randall H. Istre saved Junius Chevis from drowning, Jennings, Louisiana, April 4, 1999. Chevis, 71, was the sole occupant of an automobile that left a bridge, dropped six feet into a drainage canal, and began to submerge in water 10 feet deep. Other motorists, including Istre, 43, chemical plant laboratory analyst, stopped at the scene. Istre jumped from the bridge into the canal and swam to Chevis’s car. The car completely submerged by then, in water too murky to permit visibility, Istre tried to open its front doors but found them locked. With a tire iron provided by his son, Istre, in repeated attempts, submerged and broke out the car’s rear window. After surfacing, Istre returned to the window and, again requiring repeated attempts, reached through it and found Chevis. He pulled Chevis, who was unconscious, out of the car and surfaced with him, then swam toward the closer bank, towing him. Their progress was impeded by aquatic plants that formed a thick mat on the surface of the water. A police officer who had responded waded into the canal, took Chevis from Istre, and pulled him to the bank, where he was revived. Istre returned to the submerged car to check for other occupants, then he too exited the water. Chevis was hospitalized and treated for effects of ingesting canal water.
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David L. Martin
Stanbridge East, Quebec
David L. Martin saved James L. Gendreau from drowning, Stanbridge East, Quebec, July 16, 1997. Gendreau, 19, and another man were thrown from their canoe after it went over a dam on the Rivière aux Brochets, which was flooded. They were caught in the boil of water at the base of the dam, then, having lost consciousness, were carried downstream by the swift current. From his home along the river, Martin, 36, contractor, saw Gendreau, face down and closer to the opposite bank, being carried away. He ran along the bank about 250 feet following Gendreau, then removed his shoes, dived into the water, and swam to him. Tiring from having nearly to cross the flooded river, which contained debris, Martin grasped Gendreau, turned him over, and revived him as they were pulled farther downstream. When they reached the point at which branches from a tree on the opposite bank extended over the river, Martin grasped a branch, ending their course of about 300 feet. Martin took Gendreau to the bank, where Gendreau was given medical treatment. He and Martin were very tired, and they recovered.
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Darryl R. Dupont
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Arthur Prisco and Darryl R. Dupont rescued Jake Louis from attacking dogs, Randolph, Massachusetts, March 26, 1999. Jake, 11, was attacked by two adult dogs, one a 70-pound pit bull and the other an 87pound rottweiler, as he was walking along a street near his home. The dogs took him to the ground and began to maul him. Approaching the scene in his taxicab, Prisco, 44, saw the attack. He immediately ran to Jake and kicked both dogs repeatedly, moving them away initially. When Prisco knelt to pick Jake up, the dogs returned and resumed their attack on him. Prisco pushed Jake behind him and attempted to fight the dogs off with his fists. Using a pocketknife, Prisco then stabbed the pit bull repeatedly. That dog bit Prisco on the arm and maintained its grip until Prisco pulled his arm free. Dupont, 35, was one of other motorists who observed the attack and stopped at the scene. He left his car and, armed only with a cardboard tube, went to Jake. Finding the tube of little use, Dupont discarded it. He then picked Jake up, the dogs continuing to menace, and carried him to his car. Police officers arrived shortly and pursued both dogs into adjoining yards nearby. The rottweiler was secured behind a locked fence, but the blood-covered pit bull was felled by firearm when it appeared to threaten other persons. Both Jake and Prisco were taken by ambulance to the hospital for treatment, including suturing, of numerous bite wounds. Dupont sustained scratches and scrapes. All recovered, Prisco after a two-month period of disability.
73558-8385 / 73608-8386
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Brent Kaufman saved Jeffrey D. Miller from burning, Sandy, Oregon, May 22, 1999. At night, Miller, 28, a deputy sheriff, was traveling in his patrol car en route to a call when his vehicle and another collided head on. Miller was severely injured but remained conscious in his car, on which flames broke out in the engine area. He attempted to open the driver’s door, but it was jammed, and he called for help. Kaufman, 25, bartender, was approaching the scene in his vehicle when he saw the burning patrol car. He stopped and, also unable to open the driver’s door, told Miller to extend his arms through the door’s broken-out window. With flames beginning to spread in the interior of the car, Kaufman extended his upper body through the window and grasped Miller about the arms and shoulders. Despite Miller, with equipment, outweighing Kaufman by about 90 pounds, Kaufman pulled on Miller repeatedly before he was able to remove him headfirst through the window. Kaufman then dragged Miller away from the car, which shortly was engulfed by flames that consumed ammunition inside. Miller was hospitalized for three weeks for treatment of his injuries.
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Edward K. Pullen III
Robert J. Loughlin, Jr.
Columbus, New Jersey
Edward K. Pullen III and Robert J. Loughlin, Jr., rescued Michael J. and Edna Radice from burning, Trenton, New Jersey, January 14, 1999. Radice, 81, and his wife, 80, were in their apartment, on the second floor of a two-story building, after fire broke out in the living room. En route to work, Pullen, 38, production supervisor, was driving by the building when he saw flames issuing from the apartment’s living-room windows. After reporting the fire on his cellular telephone, Pullen approached the building, kicked in its front door, and searched the first-floor apartment for occupants. Having been alerted to the fire by Pullen, Loughlin, 42, mechanic, who lived in the neighborhood, responded and gained entry to the stairway to the second floor. As Pullen returned to his truck for a flashlight, Loughlin climbed the stairs and, crawling into a smoke-filled hall, found Radice semiconscious on the hall floor, outside the living room. He grasped Radice and dragged him to the top of the stairs, where another neighbor joined him in carrying Radice downstairs and to safety. Pullen, meanwhile, climbed to the second floor in search of other occupants. He crawled from the top of the stairs through the hall toward the burning living room and was returning to the stairs when he saw Mrs. Radice lying on a mattress in a bedroom adjoining the living room. He entered the bedroom and pulled Mrs. Radice to the floor, then dragged her to the top of the stairs. Loughlin and the other man had re-entered the house, and they removed Mrs. Radice to safety while Pullen searched the apartment again before having to exit the building because of deteriorating conditions. Radice and his wife required hospitalization for treatment of smoke inhalation and burns.
73359-8388 / 73360-8389
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Jon L. Lopez, deceased
North Baltimore, Ohio
Jon L. Lopez died helping to save Gilberto Agosto from drowning, Haskins, Ohio, May 21, 1999. Agosto, 48, and Lopez, 43, laborer, were fishing in the knee-deep rapids of the Maumee River with two other men. Agosto lost his footing in the swift current and submerged in deep water in a hole in the river floor about 200 feet from the closer bank. Lopez and the two other men immediately responded to where Agosto struggled to stay afloat. They took Agosto to the surface of the water and from the hole, enabling him to wade to the bank. At some point during the rescue, Lopez had submerged and was not seen alive again. Rescuers searched the river for him and found his body early the next morning, near the point at which he had submerged. He had drowned.
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Darlene May Shire
Darlene May Shire saved Paulo A. Barros from drowning, Calgary, Alberta, August 26, 1999. Barros, 18, was swimming in Lake McKenzie when he encountered difficulty staying afloat at a point about 70 feet from the beach. He flailed his arms and yelled for help, catching the attention of Ms. Shire, 37, day home operator, who was on the beach. Ms. Shire ran into the water and had waded out about 20 feet when she saw Barros submerge. She immediately swam to the point at which she had last seen Barros, then dived and found him lying unconscious on the bottom of the lake, in water 12 feet deep. Ms. Shire attempted to pull Barros up, but he was too heavy to move. She repositioned herself by planting her feet on the lake bottom and, crouching, gripped Barros by the arm and pulled. She released Barros from the bottom of the lake, then pushed off and surfaced with him. Ms. Shire swam Barros back to the beach, where, tired, she collapsed at the waterline. Another woman on the beach resuscitated Barros. He was then flown to the hospital, where he was detained overnight. Ms. Shire experienced a soreness about her face that lasted five days. She recovered.
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Las Vegas, Nevada
Mary Michelle Chipman
Las Vegas, Nevada
Debbra Cleveland and Mary Michelle Chipman saved Richard D. Franklin, Jr., from burning, San Bernardino, California, October 18, 1998. Unconscious, Richard, 15, was trapped inside an overturned car after a highway accident. Traveling on the same highway, Ms. Cleveland, 44, and Ms. Chipman, 36, school bus drivers, and a friend approached the scene and stopped. The car was smoking, and flames had broken out in the brush near it. When the women learned that Richard was still in the car, Ms. Cleveland immediately ran to his aid. She entered the vehicle through the missing window of its driver’s door to find Richard lodged between the roof of the car and its steering wheel; his legs were stuck under the dashboard, and his upper body was secured by his safety belt and further wedged by a fishing pole that he continued to clutch. Ms. Cleveland cut the safety belt with a pocketknife and broke the fishing pole with her hands in an attempt to free him. By then, flames had broken out on the underside of the car. Ms. Chipman joined Ms. Cleveland and also partially entered the car through the window. As flames grew on the car, the two women pulled on Richard repeatedly, freeing him. They pulled him headfirst from the vehicle, and, as they were dragging him away, flames engulfed the car. Richard required three weeks’ hospitalization for treatment of multiple injuries. Ms. Cleveland received minor cuts on one hand. They recovered.
73749-8392 / 73750-8393
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Brian J. Phillips
Morrisville, North Carolina
Brian J. Phillips saved Traci S. P. Knowles and Kaitlyn D. Baker from drowning, North Topsail Beach, North Carolina, June 28, 1999. Traci and Kaitlyn, both 6, were wading in the Atlantic Ocean when they were carried away from shore by a strong current. Kaitlyn’s mother shouted for help, attracting the attention of Phillips, 41, chemical engineer, who was walking nearby on the beach. Seeing the girls about 450 feet from shore, Phillips removed his shirt, entered the water, and swam to Traci, who had by then been carried even farther out. Phillips placed Traci on his back and swam to Kaitlyn, who was submerged nearby. He grasped Kaitlyn and pulled her back to the surface of the water. With Traci on his back and holding Kaitlyn with one arm, Phillips swam back to the beach. He had difficulty doing so, as he swam against the current. Reaching wadable water, Phillips and the girls left the surf, tired but uninjured.
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Glace Bay, Nova Scotia
Clayton MacDonald rescued Lynn M. Wiley from burning, Kittery, Maine, October 8, 1999. Ms. Wiley, 31, was the driver of a car that collided with a tractor-trailer on an interstate highway. The car became wedged under the 53-foot trailer and was dragged 1,000 feet by it before the rig was stopped by its driver, MacDonald, 24. Flames broke out immediately at the car and grew. MacDonald exited the tractor and ran to the car, where he saw Ms. Wiley, screaming for help, struggling to free herself amid flames that had entered the interior of the car. Wearing gloves that he had retrieved from his truck’s cab, MacDonald reached over the hood of the car and through its windshield, which was missing. He grasped Ms. Wiley by the arms and lifted her headfirst from the car. MacDonald set Ms. Wiley on the highway to pat out flames on her attire before helping to carry her to the shoulder of the highway. Ms. Wiley required extensive hospitalization for treatment of severe burns to much of her body.
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Phillip W. Goldsmith
Michael S. Munn
Cullowhee, North Carolina
Phillip W. Goldsmith and Michael S. Munn rescued Keith E. and Nadia L. Miller from burning, Tuckasegee, North Carolina, December 10, 1998. Miller, 23, and his wife, 20, were in their one-story house after fire broke out in the living room before daybreak. Driving by the house en route to work, Goldsmith, 26, and Munn, 27, carpenters, discovered the fire and stopped at the scene to check for occupants. Hearing a sound at a bedroom window, Goldsmith broke out the glass of that window; then, using a ladder that he and Munn found nearby, Goldsmith climbed to the window and entered the smoke-filled bedroom, which was adjacent to the burning living room. He found Miller lying semiconscious on the bedroom floor, then grasped him, dragged him to the window, and handed him out to Munn. Goldsmith exited the house through the window. When Miller informed the men that his wife was still inside, Munn entered the bedroom through the window and, with smoke severely restricting visibility, crawled in search of her, finding her unconscious in bed. He dragged Ms. Miller to the window, then picked her up and passed her out to Goldsmith before exiting the house himself through the window. Miller and his wife sustained serious burns and smoke inhalation, for which they were both hospitalized, and Miller died of his injuries eight days later.
73753-8396 / 73754-8397
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James B. Stack
James B. Stack saved Randall T. Bruckner and helped attempt to save Julia Cassidy from drowning, Whitefish, Montana, April 11, 1999. At night, Bruckner, 30, and Ms. Cassidy, 22, fell from a boat into the frigid water of Whitefish Lake at a point about 600 feet from the closer shore. They yelled for help, attracting the attention of residents of the area. One of the residents, Stack, 47, financial advisor, launched a whitewater kayak and, with a second in tow, paddled through the darkness toward the sound of the yelling. The only light available was from Stack’s flashlight, which he held with his mouth as he paddled. While Stack was en route, the second kayak disconnected, its use thus lost to him. When Stack found the victims, one of them lunged at his kayak, threatening to upset it. Stack directed Bruckner and Ms. Cassidy to hold to the back of the kayak, and he then began to paddle back toward shore. Bruckner retained his hold, but Ms. Cassidy, overcome by exposure to the cold water, did not. Stack reached shore, where others took charge of Bruckner. Stack then turned and paddled back several hundred feet into the lake. Finding Ms. Cassidy again, he held her partway out of the water and called for help to rescue personnel, who had by then arrived on shore. Two firefighters wearing insulated dry suits swam out to the kayak, guided by Stack’s yelling, then by his flashlight as they neared. Holding to the kayak, the firefighters secured Ms. Cassidy and attempted to revive her as Stack paddled back to shore, the firefighters and Ms. Cassidy in tow. Bruckner and Ms. Cassidy were hospitalized for treatment of hypothermia. Bruckner recovered, but Ms. Cassidy was pronounced dead of drowning within hours. Stack recovered from coldness and exhaustion.
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Sutton West, Ontario
Rosemary Russell helped to rescue Shirley L. Littlejohn from assault, Sutton, Ontario, April 19, 1999. Ms. Littlejohn, 50, lay in the street as she struggled against a man, who, armed with a knife, stabbed her in the leg. Ms. Russell, 42, cook, was leaving a store nearby along the street when she saw the assault, the assailant atop Ms. Littlejohn. Ms. Russell shouted at the assailant, then ran to him, grasped him by the collar, and pulled him off Ms. Littlejohn. Losing the knife, the assailant fell to the street. A man who also had witnessed the assault from nearby responded and held the assailant down until police arrived several minutes later and arrested him. Ms. Littlejohn required hospital treatment for her knife wound.
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Raymond Joseph saved Daija L. Golfin from burning, Tampa, Florida, May 31, 1999. Daija, 2, lay unconscious on the floor of a second-floor bedroom in her family’s two-story apartment after fire erupted in an adjacent bedroom. In a nearby apartment, Joseph, 30, construction worker, heard Daija’s mother scream for help, and he immediately responded to the scene. After helping the mother escape the building through a second-floor window, having reached her by climbing a tree next to the building, Joseph entered the apartment through a first-floor door. He crawled up the stairs, then into the bedroom where Daija lay, but he could see nothing in the dense smoke. Joseph crawled throughout the room before brushing against Daija’s foot. He then picked her up and carried her downstairs and outside to safety. Daija was hospitalized two days for treatment of smoke inhalation, and she recovered. Joseph also recovered from having inhaled smoke.
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Timothy Todd Herrington
Port Neches, Texas
Timothy Todd Herrington helped to save Hazel R. Gardner from drowning, Warren, Texas, April 4, 1999. As Ms. Gardner, 84, was driving on a highway inundated by floodwater after a heavy rain, the swift current washed her car off the roadway into deeper, turbulent water. The car was swept about 50 feet from the highway and began to submerge in water about nine feet deep. Herrington, 31, machinist, saw the accident from the edge of the floodwater. He immediately waded atop the highway to a point opposite the car, then entered the deeper water and swam to it. Ms. Gardner remained in the driver’s seat of the car. When Herrington opened the rear door on the driver’s side, water rushed into the car, taking him with it. Herrington secured a hold on Ms. Gardner to keep her head out of the rising water, then, with his pocketknife, he cut Ms. Gardner’s safety belt. After Herrington maneuvered Ms. Gardner from the car, another man arrived and helped to place her on the roof. They waited about 20 minutes on the submerged car for help to arrive. A state highway patrol officer and another man responded and, by means of ropes and a flotation device, the officer, aided by others, returned Ms. Gardner to the highway. Herrington and the two other men then followed. Ms. Gardner was examined at the hospital and was released. Herrington was cold and tired, and he recovered.
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Michael A. Maltby
Michael A. Maltby rescued Dawn E. Erikson from assault, Sacramento, California, September 16, 1999. At night, Ms. Erikson, 54, was attacked by a man armed with a knife on the patio of the apartment building where she lived. She screamed for help, attracting the attention of Maltby, 28, high school teacher, who lived on the second floor of the building. Armed with a wooden sword, Maltby ran downstairs to the patio, where the assailant was atop Ms. Erikson in an elevated flowerbed, having stabbed her several times. Discarding the sword, Maltby grasped the assailant, who then threatened Maltby, and the two men struggled. When the assailant picked up the sword, Maltby grabbed him from behind. The assailant tripped and fell down a few steps nearby, then stood and fled the scene. He was shortly apprehended by police. Ms. Erikson was hospitalized two days for treatment of multiple stab wounds.
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