Carnegie Medals awarded to 19
for extraordinary acts of heroism

PITTSBURGH, PA, September 20, 2007 — In its fourth award announcement of 2007, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission today named 19 individuals throughout the United States and Canada as recipients of the CARNEGIE MEDAL. The medal is awarded 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 77 the number of awards made to date in 2007 and to 9,130 since the Pittsburgh-based Fund’s inception in 1904. Commission President Mark Laskow stated that each of the awardees or their next of kin will also receive a grant of $5,000. Throughout the 103 years since the Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, $29.8 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.

One of the awardees, Melvin Guevara of Tustin, Calif., died in the performance of his rescue act. While off duty, Guevara, 24, a special officer with the Orange County, Calif., Sheriff’s Department, was struck and killed by a car on Jan. 1, 2006, as he attempted to remove the driver of another car that had been involved in a freeway accident. The driver survived. The awardees are:

Kyle DeLapp Roswell, Ga.
Steven M. Gartner Alpharetta, Ga.
Hooman Nourparvar Rosewell, Ga.
Melvin Guevara, deceased Tustin, Calif.
Robert Danforth Troy, Maine
McKenzie Anne Perry Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Kary L. Hodge Willimantic, Conn.
Jon Daniel Kalleberg Staten Island, N.Y.
Donald K. Casey Staten Island, N.Y.
Daniel William Bailey Fort Frances, Ont.
Patrick McGeough, Jr. Key West, Fla.
Derrick Kyle Hewitt, Texas
Patrick Duerden Oakville, Ont.
John Eli Marsh Lower Lance Cove, Nfld. & Lab.
John Morris Marsh Lower Lance Cove, Nfld. & Lab.
Samantha L. Wood Sterling Heights, Mich.
Andrea Gail Aites Loveland, Colo.
William E. Wright, Jr. Oscoda, Mich.
M. Sean Venezia Danville, 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

Kyle DeLapp
Roswell, Georgia
Steven M. Gartner
Alpharetta, Georgia
Hooman Nourparvar
Roswell, Georgia
Kyle DeLapp, Hooman Nourparvar, and Steven M. Gartner saved three boys from drowning, Miramar Beach, Florida, April 1, 2006. While wading in the Gulf of Mexico, a 10-year-old boy was carried seaward into deeper water by a strong current, as were his sister, 13, and two other boys, who were 9- and 12-year-old brothers. They struggled and yelled for help. Kyle, 17; Hooman, 18; and Steven, 17, were in a group of out-of-state high school students who were playing on the beach nearby. Although flags posted on the beach indicated dangerous water conditions, Kyle, Hooman, and Steven entered the water and waded and swam about 300 feet to the children. After a brief struggle with the 10-year-old boy, who submerged him, Kyle established a hold on the boy and began to swim toward shore. The boy’s sister initially swam alongside Kyle but then became fatigued and held to him as he swam. Hooman grasped the younger brother, positioned him on his back, and began to tow him toward shore, while Steven began to swim in with the older brother lying partially atop him. When that boy submerged him, Steven repositioned himself and began to push the boy toward shore. The current impeded the rescuers’ progress, and for several minutes they struggled to overcome it and finally reach wadable water. Other members of their party aided two of the boys to safety, and the three rescuers waded ashore, where they lay, exhausted and aching, on the beach. The four children were examined by responding medical personnel, but they did not need treatment. Kyle, Hooman, and Steven recovered after resting.
79392-9112 / 79394-9113 / 79393-9114
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Melvin Guevara, deceased
Tustin, California
Melvin Guevara died helping attempt to save John J. Olivas from being struck by a motor vehicle, Cerritos, California, January 1, 2006. Olivas, 20, was the driver of a sport utility vehicle that crashed at night on a freeway and came to rest upright in the traffic lanes. Stunned, he remained in the driver’s seat. An approaching vehicle containing Guevara, 24, sheriff’s department special officer, stopped on the highway shoulder at the scene. Reporting the accident by cellular telephone, Guevara crossed traffic lanes to reach the driver’s side of the sport utility vehicle. He attempted to open the driver’s door, then he reached through the window and unfastened Olivas’s safety belt. Another vehicle approached at high speed and struck Guevara and another man who was present, killing them. The disabled vehicle was also struck, after which Olivas escaped from it to safety.
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Robert Danforth
Troy, Maine
Robert Danforth saved Sandra M. Hubbard from drowning, Pittsfield, Maine, September 7, 2006. Hubbard, 49, was the driver of an automobile that in an accident left the highway, entered the Sebasticook River, and began to submerge nose first in water 19 feet deep at a point about 30 feet from the bank. She rolled the window of the driver’s door down and, screaming, began to climb through it. Nearby on the bank, Danforth, 39, emergency medical technician, heard Hubbard scream and then saw her car in the water. Although he was recuperating from recent surgery, Danforth dived into the river and swam across a swift current to the driver’s side of the car. He grasped Hubbard by the arms and pulled her the rest of the way out of the vehicle. Despite her struggling, Danforth placed one arm over her chest and stroked with the other toward the bank. His wife aided in removing Hubbard from the river. Within moments the car submerged and when located was found to have overturned in the water. Hubbard sustained minor injury in the accident and was treated at the scene. Danforth recovered from muscle ache.
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McKenzie Anne Perry
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Kary L. Hodge
Willimantic, Connecticut
McKenzie Anne Perry and Kary L. Hodge helped to save Betty R. Kindley from drowning, Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, June 25, 2006. Kindley, 55, was wading in the Atlantic Ocean with a friend when a rip current developed and swept both women a far distance from shore. Kindley held to her friend, who could not swim. Perry, 20, college student, was on the beach in the vicinity when she was alerted to the situation, as was Hodge, 28, activities assistant, who was farther away. Although they could not see the victims, due to their distance from shore and rough surf, Perry and Hodge immediately entered the water and began to swim out for them, as did others. Perry reached Kindley after sighting her en route. Kindley’s friend had expired by then, and Perry urged Kindley to part with her. Coached by Perry, Kindley turned onto her back and began to swim toward shore. Of the others who had entered the water in rescue attempts, only Hodge reached Kindley and Perry. She too aided Kindley in swimming toward shore by coaching her. After several minutes, when the women were about 300 feet from shore, a responding firefighter arrived on a personal watercraft and, with Kindley aboard, took the women to safety. The women were nearly exhausted after the rescue, and they recovered.
79652-9115 / 79994-9116
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Jon Daniel Kalleberg
Staten Island, New York
Donald K. Casey
Staten Island, New York
Jon Daniel Kalleberg and Donald K. Casey saved Franklin Montes from burning, Brooklyn, New York, September 13, 2006. Montes, 58, remained in the cab of a tractor-trailer after the vehicle struck a support pillar of an overpass that spanned the highway on which he was traveling. The cab overturned onto its passenger side in the accident, and flames that broke out at the vehicle’s engine spread to the highway surface nearby and grew quickly. Kalleberg, 39, computer technician, and Casey, 45, off-duty firefighter, were traveling on the highway when they witnessed the accident, their vehicles being struck by debris. Both men stopped at the scene and ran to the front of the cab, where they found Montes trapped inside. They reached through the broken-out windshield and grasped Montes, whose leg was caught beneath the dashboard. Pulling on him, Kalleberg and Casey freed Montes of the wreckage and then dragged him to safety across the lanes of the highway. They positioned themselves behind another overpass pillar just moments before a major explosion at the tractor sent debris flying. Montes required hospitalization for treatment of significant injuries, but he was not burned. Casey was treated at the hospital for first-degree burns to his face and forearms, and he recovered.
79733-9119 / 79732-9120
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Daniel William Bailey
Fort Frances, Ontario
Daniel William Bailey helped to rescue Catherine A. Moffat and Andrea L. Higgins from burning, Central Elgin, Ontario, August 1, 2006. Badly injured, Moffat, 37, and Higgins, 38, remained strapped in their seats after the sport utility vehicle in which they were traveling overturned in a highway accident and caught fire at its front end. At a nearby residence, Bailey, 43, off-duty police officer, heard the accident and ran to the scene. He attempted to free Higgins from the wreckage but found that she was pinned by it. Bailey then approached the driver’s side of the vehicle, reached inside, and cut Moffat’s safety belt with his pocketknife. After he and others took her to safety, Bailey returned to the wreckage. Despite growing and spreading flames, which by then entered the vehicle’s passenger compartment, he reached inside and cut Higgins’s safety belt, then helped remove her to safety. Flames shortly engulfed the vehicle. Both women were taken to the hospital, where Moffat died of her injuries. Higgins was detained for treatment of her injuries, which included severe burns. Bailey also required hospital treatment, for minor burns to both forearms, from which he recovered.
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Patrick McGeough, Jr.
Key West, Florida
Derrick Kyle
Hewitt, Texas
Patrick McGeough, Jr., and Derrick Kyle attempted to help save Lois F. Fair from drowning, Hewitt, Texas, May 14, 2006. Fair, 57, remained in the driver’s seat of her van after it partially entered a flooded drainage ditch during heavy rain. Water surged from the five-foot-deep ditch into a submerged culvert that extended 70 feet underground. Seeing the accident, McGeough, 26, warehouse employee, and Derrick, 16, high school student, ran to the ditch from the nearby store where they were part-time employees. Holding to the driver’s side of the van, they urged Fair to exit the vehicle, but then it turned somewhat and moved fully into the ditch and toward the culvert, taking McGeough and Derrick with it. Submerging, Derrick was drawn into the culvert then was washed through it; he emerged to safety at its other end. The van pinned McGeough by a hand to the mouth of the culvert, and he remained there partially submerged until he was freed by arriving firefighters. Uninjured, Fair was aided from the vehicle through the window of its driver’s door. McGeough and Derrick required hospital treatment, McGeough for a wrist injury and Derrick for abrasions to his legs and an injured shoulder. They recovered.
79378-9122 / 79379-9123
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Patrick Duerden
Oakville, Ontario
Patrick Duerden rescued Catherine A. Blackwood from burning, Toronto, Ontario, August 25, 2006. Blackwood, 70, was inside her one-story house after fire broke out in a bedroom and filled the structure with dense smoke. On paid-duty detail nearby, Duerden, 27, police constable, learned of the fire, and he responded to the scene. When told that the house was occupied, he entered it through the rear door but was immediately forced out by the smoke, which limited visibility. Crawling, Duerden re-entered the house. Proceeding about 20 feet, he crossed the kitchen and entered the living room, where he found Blackwood lying on the floor near the fire’s room of origin. She was not responsive. He grabbed her by the legs and, dragging her, retraced his path to the back door and outside to safety. Both Blackwood and Duerden were taken to the hospital, where Duerden was treated for smoke inhalation. He recovered. Severely burned, Blackwood died later that day.
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John Eli Marsh
Lower Lance Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador
John Morris Marsh
Lower Lance Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador
John Eli Marsh and John Morris Marsh saved Wilson and Brian R. Ivany from exposure, Lower Lance Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador, December 5, 2005. Brothers Wilson, 50, and Brian, 44, were returning to port after fishing on Smith Sound when their boat took on water during winds estimated at 30 m.p.h. The boat swamped in high waves at a point about 100 feet from the closer bank, and both men were emptied into the frigid water. They struggled toward shore, which in that vicinity was steep, rocky, and remote. Brian pulled himself from the water there, but Wilson submerged near the boat, which was floating upended. John Eli, 69, and his son, John Morris, 36, both fishermen, were also returning to port, in their 19-foot motorboat. Rounding a point on the bank about a half-mile away, they saw the stricken vessel and recognized it. Proceeding to the scene, they saw Brian on the bank and Wilson floating just below the surface of the water. John Eli and John Morris pulled Wilson aboard their boat, although with great difficulty since Wilson was unresponsive and was heavier than they and further weighed down by layers of saturated attire. The effort caused their boat to rock and take on water. John Eli and John Morris then maneuvered their boat in shallow water close to the bank for Brian, the boat’s propeller striking and scraping submerged rocks. With Brian aboard, John Eli and John Morris resumed their trip to port two miles away, but at low speed, as their boat was dangerously low in the water due to the additional weight. Wilson and Brian were taken to the hospital, where they were treated for hypothermia, and they recovered.
80101-9125 / 80102-9126
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Samantha L. Wood
Sterling Heights, Michigan
Samantha L. Wood saved Brian Dawkins from burning, Sterling Heights, Michigan, October 17, 2006. Brian, 4, was in one end of his family’s mobile home after fire broke out in the other end and filled the structure with dense smoke. At a residence nearby, Wood, 34, homemaker, saw the fire and responded to the scene, where she learned that Brian was still inside. Despite flames issuing from the mobile home and spreading inside it, she entered and, crawling, searched for Brian. Hearing his voice, she located him in a bedroom closet. Wood pulled Brian from the closet and, clutching him to herself, crawled back to the door and exited to safety. Brian and Wood were treated at the scene, then Wood received hospital treatment for smoke inhalation.
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Andrea Gail Aites
Loveland, Colorado
William E. Wright, Jr.
Oscoda, Michigan
Andrea Gail Aites and William E. Wright, Jr., saved Joshua D. Cooper and John M. Andrick from drowning, Oscoda, Michigan, January 10, 2007. Joshua, 6; John, 9; and another boy were playing on the ice of partially frozen Van Etten Lake when they broke through at a point about 40 feet from the bank. They shouted for help as they struggled to stay afloat in the 37-degree water. Aites, 55, homemaker, was visiting at a nearby residence and heard the boys. Taking two dock buoys with her, she ran to the scene as she called 911. She stepped onto the ice and started toward the boys, crawling on her stomach as she approached the open water. Near the edge of the ice, Aites tossed one of the buoys out, and Joshua grasped it. Aites pulled him onto the ice and then stood and started to carry him to the bank. When they were about midway back, the ice broke, depositing them into water that was wadable for Aites. She broke the ice in front of her as she continued toward the bank with Joshua. Meanwhile, at his home nearby, Wright, 37, aircraft mechanic, was alerted to the situation. He immediately responded to the scene, arriving as Aites was nearing the bank with Joshua. Wearing steel-toe boots, Wright entered the lake, waded out to solid ice, and then broke a path through it toward John, who, unconscious, had submerged by then. Wright grasped John but, tiring, had difficulty staying afloat in the water, which was beyond his depth there. He called for help. Kicking, Wright proceeded toward the bank with John, then he removed him from the lake. The third boy also had submerged, and his body was found the next day. Joshua and John required hospital treatment for hypothermia, and they recovered. Aites was cold and sore after the rescue, and Wright strained his back. They too recovered.
80054-9128 / 80055-9129
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M. Sean Venezia
Danville, California
M. Sean Venezia rescued Robert E. McKinley III from burning, Danville, California, October 26, 2006. Injured, Robert, 16, remained in the driver’s seat of a sport utility vehicle that left the roadway, crashed head on into a tree, and caught fire at its front end. Flames spread beneath the vehicle and entered it at its floorboard. Venezia, 44, real estate developer, lived nearby and heard the accident. Responding to the scene, he approached the driver’s side of the vehicle, opened the front door, and, blocked by the deployed airbag, told Robert to free his safety belt. Venezia then reached into the vehicle and grasped Robert under his arms. Although Robert outweighed him, Venezia pulled him from the vehicle and dragged him up to the roadway. Flames grew to engulf the vehicle, destroying it. Robert required hospitalization for treatment of his injuries, which included burns to one leg. He recovered.
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