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American Red Cross honors local heroes

American Red Cross honors local heroesOn March 9, the American Red Cross Serving King & Kitsap Counties announced those who were honored for heroic acts in the past year at the Real Heroes Breakfast. With approximately 300 in attendance, $45,000 was raised to support American Red Cross programs and clients. Ten award categories were represented by eighteen individuals and one naval command at the eleventh Annual American Red Cross Real Heroes.

The heroes and their stories:

Hero: Naval Hospital Bremerton
Category: Commitment to Community
Sponsor: Kitsap Credit Union

Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB) is regarded as the best Family Medicine teaching hospital in the Navy. It is a community-based acute care and obstetrical hospital, offering expert primary care, emergency care and a broad range of medical and surgical specialties, with approximately 40 inpatient beds (with expansion capacity to 72+). NHB is parent command for three Naval Branch Health Clinics and the Puget Sound Family Medicine Residency Program.

Naval Hospital Bremerton and its clinic’s staff consist of over 1,400 dedicated military, civilian, contract and American Red Cross volunteer personnel.

Over the course of last year, Naval Hospital Bremerton had up to 18 percent of the active duty staff deployed supporting combat units in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and other locales such as Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, as well as being engaged in humanitarian aid and disaster response missions (Pacific Partnership 2008 on USNS Mercy; earthquake and tsunami relief efforts, deployments to Latin American and Caribbean nations). NHB personnel had a very strong influence in the local community, also, as they volunteered countless hours to support to more than forty local non-profit organizations or projects.

It is this spirit of unity and sense of serving a broader community that brings Naval Hospital Bremerton the distinction of being named the 2010 a.m.erican Red Cross Real Hero for Commitment to Community. We congratulate Commanding Officer Captain Mark Brouker, USN and his crew for a job well done and a community well served.

Projects and organizations served include: CKSD’s Culminating Project; CKSD’s Community Finance Committee; Coach Upward Basketball Team (1st & 2nd Grades; Everest College Advisory Board; Boy Scouts of America; Tacoma Soup Kitchen; Northwest Harvest; Disabled American Veteran’s Association; Adopt-A-Highway; Benedict House; Bremerton Roller Derby; CFC; Clear Creek Trail; Concession stands at Qwest Field; Drug Education for Youth; Fish and Wildlife; Furry tale Animal Shelter; Girl Scouts of America; Habitat for Humanity; Illahee State Park; Jackson Park Elementary School; Kitsap Humane Society; MADD; Northwest Lutheran Community Service; Pediatric Brain Cancer Walk; Retsil Cemetery; Seattle Mission; Silverdale Baptist Church; Special Olympics; St. Vincent DePaul; Susan B. Kohler Cancer Walk; Toys for Tots.

Hero: Sergeant Wendy L. Davis, Bremerton Police Department
Category: Law Enforcement
Sponsor: Group Health

Bremerton Police Sergeant Wendy Davis was in the office when the call came in “car into church, Eleventh and Veneta!” Sgt. Davis immediately headed to the location. Moving along Eleventh Street, Our Saviors Lutheran Church looked fine, until she turned onto Veneta. A thirty foot hole where a wall once stood greeted the officer. She saw splintered wood and glass, smoke coming from the structure and buried deep in the building, what appeared to be a white pick up truck. The trucks engine was still running, tires spinning and smoke rolling from the front of the truck quickly filling the church with toxic fumes.

Sgt. Davis made her way into the church, aware of the structural damage, possible fire and even the possibility of the truck falling through the floor of the church. Debris was strewn about and still falling from the destroyed pipe organ. The piano and pews laid in ruin. There was a gaping hole where the truck entered the building. As smoke filled her lungs she tried to open the truck door. She realized that the victim must be finding it hard to breathe. The space was very tight. Sgt. Davis was able to check the victim who was semi-conscious, but unresponsive. His foot was on the gas pedal, which kept the tires spinning, which kept generating smoke. Sgt. Davis was able to turn off the truck’s ignition, but unable to remove the victim from the truck.

Quickly she exited the building, asked a citizen to assist and together with another police officer, they where able to extract the driver from the truck. Proving difficult was negotiating the semi-conscious man through the debris and the narrow passage, Sgt. Davis directed the removal of the victim, while keeping an eye on the questionable structure in the smoke-filled church, helped carry the man to safety and made sure their were no other occupants in the truck.

Once outside the victim was turned over to Bremerton Fire medics who arrived on scene. It was reported that the driver he had a seizure and made a full recovery, as did the church, some months later. Asked if she thought she was a hero Sgt. Davis said no. “We do what we do everyday- we respond to calls everyday. We were lucky no one was hurt and he (the driver) was lucky, someone was watching over him.”

Hero: Dan Diamond, MD
Category: Medical
Sponsor: Harrison Medical Center

Dr. Dan Diamond is a person of skill, conviction and action. He founded and serves as the Director of the nation’s first state-affiliated medical disaster response team, Christian Medical Response Team (CMRT). CMRT, under Dr. Diamond’s leadership was the lead team for the Medical Triage Unit at the New Orleans Convention Center following Hurricane Katrina. CMRT has also responded to Hurricane Pauline in Mexico and Hurricane Mitch in Honduras and have provided care in Peru and India in rural settings as well.

Dr. Diamond is in clinical practice at the Doctors Clinic in Silverdale and is a member of the Executive Committee for the Kitsap Medical Reserve Corps and is a founding member of the Board of Directors for Children of the Nations.

Dr. Diamond’s latest outreach was a two-week deployment to disaster stricken Haiti through Medical Teams International. He saw immense human suffering firsthand in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where he helped set up a United Nations field hospital and conducted surgeries. Although he’s done this kind of volunteer work for the past 27 years, the Bremerton doctor says Haiti has by far the most devastation and the largest number of injured people he’s ever encountered.

“I’ve seen things and I have things in my head that I don’t think I’m going to be able to process for awhile,” he says.

What impressed him most was the hardiness of the people in Haiti. He hopes that these images of the devastation and the suffering won’t quickly fade from our memories because the rescue and recovery work there will live long past the sensational headlines.

“Going forward, as the rainy season and the hurricanes start coming in, there are so many people exposed. Estimates hover around a million people homeless now. It’s going to become much more to take good care of these people,” he said.

Now that he’s back home, Dr. Diamond says he appreciates the small things in life all the more. We appreciate Dr. Diamond and his humanitarian efforts.

Hero: Millie
Category: Animal Rescue
Sponsor: Bethel Avenue Bookstore

The words “man’s best friend” had never been truer then when they are spoken by John Crist of Poulsbo when referring to Millie, the family pup.

Crist was abruptly awakened in the middle of the night by pressure on his chest and something knocking his sleep apparatus askew. He opened his eyes and stared into the eyes of Millie, his 5-year-old dachshund/Chihuahua. He was startled. Delene, His wife had temporarily moved to a bedroom on a lower level of the home after knee surgery. Millie was usually at Delene’s side.

Millie seemed anxious and as John tried to sooth her by placing her under the covers, she quickly tunneled to the end of the bed and began staring at John. She then started at the door, back and forth, at which point John said to himself, “this better be good,” decided he needed to go downstairs and see what had the dog so concerned.

As Millie charged down the stairs, John followed and began looking for his wife He found her lying on the floor, with Millie curled up next to her, licking and nuzzling her. Crist’s first chilling thought was that Delene was dead. She was alive, but hurt. Delene had taken a sleep aid, became groggy and fell on her way to bed.

Crist quickly called 911. Paramedics arrived, and then transported Delene to Harrison Medical Center where she was treated for a sprained wrist and broken hip. After treatment, she spent about a month recuperating at Martha and Mary Health and Rehab Center in Poulsbo. Crist visited often, but the guest all the staff and residents wanted to meet and greet was Millie, best friend and real hero.

Hero: Deputy Don Moszkowicz
Category: First Responder
Sponsor: Abbey Carpet and Floor

It was pretty quiet for a Saturday night in Kitsap County according to Kitsap County Sheriff’s Deputy Donald Moszkowicz. Then, the quiet was broken as the Deputy noticed a light colored vehicle traveling toward him on Chico Way at high rate of speed. As the vehicle approached, the deputy saw it cross the fog line and as the car traveled past him, it abruptly crossed both lanes onto the shoulder of the roadway. Immediately, Moszkowicz turned his vehicle around to begin pursuit of the erratic driver.

With lights and sirens engaged, the deputy notified 911 operators of the driver’s actions. The pursuit along Northlake Way lasted only a few moments as it was halted for safety reasons. Deputy Moszkowicz shut down his emergency equipment, reduced his speed and he continued driving in the direction of the speeding vehicle. A few moments later an arc of bright lights blazened the sky. He knew instantly the car had hit something.

Continuing on Northlake Way the deputy approached a curve that the speeding car had failed to negotiate. He saw that the car left the roadway, taking down a power pole leaving downed power lines in it’s wake. The car had come to a stop atop a rock wall and immediately the engine compartment burst into flames. The driver was trapped inside. Deputy Moszkowicz could not extract the driver. However, his quick actions kept the flames at bay as he emptied two fire extinguishers from his patrol car onto the fire. As additional sheriff’s units arrived, Moszkowicz knew that the priority was to protect the accident victim’s life and keep the fire under control until Fire and Rescue personnel could arrive. Moszkowicz braved the downed powerlines not once, but a number of times gathering fire extinguishers from other responder’s cars as they arrived and going back to douse the flames.

Heroes: Bremerton Fire Department: Richard Railsback and Jerry Lane
Navy Region NW Fire and Emergency Services: Randy Hyde, Scott Berry, Shane C. Reed, Jeremy Huston, Matt Camier
Category: Emergency Response
Sponsor: Kitsap SUN

The call came in as a pipe falling and injuring a female. The vision formed by at least one EMT was of a person hit by a piece of plumbing pipe and suffering from a headache. The first engine to arrive on scene at Naval Base Kitsap in Bremerton made it clear they were dealing with something on a much larger scale.

Chief Keith Martini reported from the scene that a pillar had fallen from a crane crushing a worker under its weight. Responding medics from the Navy Region NW Fire and Emergency Services and Bremerton Fire Department coordinated efforts to free the worker. The victim, a female contractor, was trapped, pinned between concrete steel I-beam pier piling and the pillar. These pillars weigh in excess of 15 tons and are approximately 80 feet long, make normal rescue techniques ineffective.

Navy Firefighters arrived and once the pipe had been secured were at the victim’s side. After 40 minutes, the load was secured, a fork lift was used to move the pipe slightly and air bags were used to protect the patient and keep the pillar from rotating. The rescue team began to work on an extraction plan as the victim was kept calm. She went in and out of consciousness, but responded to questions and commands to wiggle her fingers.

As the pipe moved the medics rushed in to grab her. She started bleeding, was in shock had back injuries and a nearly severed leg. The efforts of the combined Fire Departments working feverishly stabilized the patient. She was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center. She lost her leg in the accident but is a survivor. We honor the seven firefighters and paramedics responding to this call whose valiant efforts and combined training came together to save her life that day.

Heroes: Jennifer Stock and Kerra Lampman
Category: First Aid
Sponsor: Takeda Pharmaceutical

Jennifer Stock and Kerra Lampman AmeriCoprs/VISTA members serving with the American Red Cross had recently completed instructor training in CPR and First Aid, which had included hearing stories of life saving experiences of others who had taken the class. They both remember thinking “I wonder how I would react in an emergency…” A quick trip to pick up lunch turned into a life-changing experience for the two VIST/AmeriCorps members on a rainy afternoon in downtown Bremerton.

Approaching an intersection, a block from the Red Cross office, they looked down the street and saw a person lying in the street under the bumper of a car. Stock quickly steered her vehicle to the side of the road, parking it safely. The two exited the car, grabbed a first aid kit and approached the scene. Indentifying themselves as “Red Cross trained” the two checked the scene for safety, Lampman checking on the driver, who was hysterical, but on the phone with 911 operators. Lampman made sure the car was in park and the brake was on as to not endanger her partner Stock who was treating the victim in the street.

Stock approached the victim identified herself and comforted the injured women with words of support. The women had no visible signs of injury, but had pain in her lower back and legs. Stock told her to stay still, “Help is on the way.” She covered her with a blanket and as “helpful” by-standers suggested moving the injured women out of the street; she took charge not allowing her to be moved, fearing further damage, and the woman’s inability to move herself. She continued to talk to the woman, checked her airway, breathing and circulation until medics arrived. She stayed with the very frightened woman as she was placed in a neck brace and on a back board and eventually transported to Harrison Medical Center.

Lampman had been with the driver who was very upset. She talked with the 911 operator, citing the location, relaying updates on the victim as she received them from her partner and tried to calm the extremely upset driver. Using training she received in her first aid classes she checked the driver for signs of trauma or shock. The two VISTA volunteers stayed with the driver until she was calm and had contacted a friend for support.

Both Stock and Lampman took CPR and First Aid training because it was required of them by the American Red Cross host agency. Neither thought that training would be put to use so soon in their year of VISTA service. They both feel very fortunate and say “timing is everything!”

Hero: The Johnston Family
Category: Fire
Sponsor: Safe Boats International

In the early morning hours of Dec. 13 James Johnston was in the shower when he heard his son Thomas scream “Fire!” from the other room. Thomas shocked his 3 year old daughter and 13 year old nephew from their sleep and hurried them out the door to a safe place across the street. He returned to help his mother exit the apartment. James grabbed a towel, opened the bathroom door and was greeted by a blast of dark smoke. James too made his way outside.

The fire at the Cedar Park Apartments spread quickly and Thomas and James moved quickly to be sure all the occupants of the eight unit complex escaped the fast moving fire. Thomas pounded on the ground floor apartment door of the one across from the burning apartment to alert the residents of the danger, and then ran upstairs to two other apartments yelling and pounding on their doors to be sure they would exit safely. James took on the second group of units. “I didn’t really think about it, I just wanted to be sure they were safe,” the younger Johnson said of his life saving action.

Neighbor Gloria Thill said it best, “They made sure family and neighbors were safe, they ran from apartment to apartment pounding on doors, waking them up, convincing them to get out and it wasn’t easy!”

The fire displaced 13 residents from the eight housing units. Within a week, all but the Johnston’s had been relocated. The community came together: heroes evacuating the buildings, firefighters knocking down the flames, American Red Cross offering immediate assistance, Sylvan Way Baptist Church, Abraham’s House, Vintage Senior Apartments, United Way and others answered the call for assistance.

Heroes: Commander George Suther, USN and EO2 Steve Buckner, USN
Category: Workplace Preparedness
Sponsor: KPS Health Plans

Commander George Suther knew something was wrong, but he couldn’t quite figure it out, as he surveyed the administrative office area for the Public Work Department located at Bangor. The commotion centered at a desk area and as he moved closer he noticed one of the employees, Donna Burt had collapsed. Other staff members, seeing the same thing had approach Mrs. Burt to assist and lower her to the ground. Commander Suther, trained in CPR, immediately checked for breathing. At first Donna had color, then her color disappeared and her breathing stopped. Commander Suther began CPR. He was doing rescue breaths as he was joined by EO2 Steve Buckner, who had recently completed CPR training. Buckner immediately took over chest compressions. In the meantime coworkers called 911 and medics arrived. An AED quickly determined heart defibrillation was in order. Shock was administered and Burt’s breathing and pulse quickly returned. She was transported to Harrison Medical Center and after a recovery period has returned to work.

Burt is very thankful she survived her cardiac arrest, she is thankful to be alive, but she also wanted to thank her rescuers for their efforts in saving her life. “They did something! They had this training. They saved my life. No matter how it would have gone, and I am happy it went the way it did, I would want them to know I am thankful for their efforts to save my life.”

Commander Suther and EO2 Buckner didn’t know each other before happening upon Burt in need of assistance. They did have the same CPR training through the American Red cross and were able to immediately work as a team to save her life.

Heroes: Ed Sproul and Kayla Dyan Carlson
Category: Good Neighbor
Sponsor: State Farm

“They were being boys,” says Kayla Carlson. Her brothers, age 7 and 10 set out to torment their older sister by lighting her old Barbie doll on fire. Matches weren’t doing the trick so they decided to sprinkle a little gasoline on the doll’s hair. The firefighters surmise that the hair already had a small flame going and when the boys got ready to sprinkle gasoline on it the fumes ignited and the gas can exploded.

Carlson was inside when she heard the explosion. Her brothers ran toward the house and she could see that their faces were burned. “I was thinking ‘fire extinguisher’ so I was trying to remember where the fire extinguisher was and there was none in the house then I remembered that we had a trailer that my grandma and grandpa go hunting in and there was a fire extinguisher in there so I ran down there to get it but the door was locked so I ran back to get the keys and then go unlock it and get it.”

Sproul, the family’s next-door-neighbor heard the explosion, also. He saw the black smoke, ran towards the garage and jumped over the fence. He spotted the stunned boys. Saw the burns. Sproul grabbed a garden hose as Carlson untangled it and turned it on. Sproul hosed the boys down with cool water to try and cool their burns. He kept water flowing on the boys and then the fire, back and forth knowing that he had to keep the burns cooled down and he had to keep the fire from flaring back up. He kept the boys and their father who had appeared from inside the house calm until medics and firefighters arrived.
The two boys were airlifted to Harborview Medical Center. The younger was in intensive care for three weeks and hospitalized for about a month and a half, with several visits after that. He’s dealing fairly well with the scarring and may need additional surgeries later on.

Sproul knows what it’s like to be in a fire. He was badly burned in a mobile home fire 12 years ago and he himself was treated at the burn unit at Harborview. Despite the awful memories of painful burns Sproul jumped in to help the boys. “Kids and fire. Somebody needs to help. Neighbors help each other out. That’s what a neighbor does,” he said.

 
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