15 named Carnegie heroes for acts of extraordinary heroism

PITTSBURGH, June 22, 2020 – The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission today announced 15 people have been named Carnegie heroes for entering into mortal danger to rescue others. They each will receive the Carnegie Medal – the highest honor for civilian heroism in the U.S. and Canada – for risking their lives while trying to save others from life-threatening perils. Those who died in their rescue attempts will be awarded the Medal posthumously. They include 27-year-old Isiah Jamal Pierce who re-entered his burning home to save his partner’s baby; Marcos Gil, 17, who drowned after pushing a girl out of a circular current; Yolanda Robinson Isom, who re-entered her burning home for her three sons still inside; and Robert Todd Riddle, who drowned after entering rough water in order to save a man who was floundering.

The Carnegie Medal is given throughout the U.S. and Canada to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others. With this second announcement of 2020 recipients, a total of 10,168 Carnegie Medals have been awarded since the Pittsburgh-based Fund’s inception in 1904. Commission Chair Mark Laskow said each of the awardees or their survivors will also receive a financial grant. Throughout the 116 years since the Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, $41.8 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.

The awardees are:

Scott UllomDallas, W.Va
Zachary A. McDowellProsperity, Pa.
Isiah Jamal Pierce, deceasedLaurel, Miss.
Christopher LanskiAgawam, Mass.
Marcos Gil, deceasedArimo, Idaho
Yolanda Robinson Isom, deceasedRock Hill, S.C.
Grant A. GoffinetJasper, Ind.
Brent D. DuncanJasper, Ind.
Justice Michael McBainSturtevant, Wis.
Scott CooperOcala, Fla.
Jeffrey GarrettElk Grove, Calif.
Robert Todd Riddle, deceasedDeer Park, Texas
Ross DuganFairhaven, Mass.
Winston S. DouglasHapeville, Ga.
Michael B. DunnWaterford, Conn.

To nominate someone for the Carnegie Medal, complete a nomination form online, write the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission at 436 Seventh Ave., Suite 1101, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, or call 1-800-447-8900. More information on the Carnegie Medal and the history of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission can be found at carnegiehero.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

News release (PDF)