Real Heroes Breakfast - 2017 Honorees

Sponsored by: Anchorage Firefighters Union Local 1264

Anchorage Fire Fighters from station #15 responded to a working home fire in July 2016. The homeowner had working smoke alarms, and was able to escape safely, but the homeowner’s dog was trapped in the home. The fire fighters searched relentlessly until finally finding the dog wedged in a tiny space under the bed, hiding. Fire fighters Jim Jury and Mike Bates waited and worked together to coax the dog out from his hiding spot. Thanks to working smoke alarms, the resident escaped safely, and the fire fighters could put their efforts into distinguishing the fire and locating the pet.

Sponsored by: Dowland-Bach

In July 2016, a whale watching cruise ship struck a reef and began taking on water in Favorite Channel, outside Juneau. While the passengers and crew waited for the Coast Guard to respond, The Carriker Family came across the ship while cruising the channel on their boat. The family helped the crew and passengers on to their 10-person capacity boat. Three of the passengers clung to the side of the family boat as the cruise ship sank, until those on board could help pull them aboard.

Sponsored by: ConocoPhillips

Josh Johnston, Jesse Moody, Julius Ramolete, Denny Macato, Ruel Baruela, Nestor Domingo
Alaska USA Federal Credit Union strides for a safe work environment by providing CPR training to employees. Instructor Josh Johnston’s training paid off when a group of employees were out to lunch one day and found a man unconscious and not breathing in a restaurant parking lot. The group called 911 and began chest compressions. Once paramedics arrived they commended the crew for their efforts and said the man’s recovery was due to their efforts.

Sponsored by: First National Bank Alaska

Coach Andy Lee and the Sitka Boys Basketball Team
The Sitka High Boys Basketball team was in Anchorage for a basketball tournament when they spotted a fire break out in a three story apartment building. The coach and team jumped into action. They evacuated 11 people and got them to safety while alerting emergency response to the incident. Lives were saved thanks to the safe and quick response of the team.

Sponsored by: Providence Health & Services

Brenda Riley
In October 2016 Sergeant Allen Brandt of the Fairbanks Police Department was shot multiple times while on duty. Brenda Riley heard the gunshots from her home. Riley ran outside to Sgt. Brandt’s aid without regard for the whereabouts of the suspect or her own personal safety. Riley kept Sgt. Brandt alert, called FPD, relayed information to dispatch, and assisted in flagging down responding officers to the area which wasn’t readily noticeable from the roadway. Sgt. Brandt survived the encounter but died from complications of his wounds two weeks later. Thanks to Riley’s heroic acts, Sgt. Brandt was able to spend two additional weeks with his family.

Sponsored by: The Grainger Foundation

Dave Decker, Rose Frisby and Daren Beals
In January 2016, Alpine employees Dave Decker, Rose Frisby and Daren Beals responded to a request to provide aid to a 9-week-old, respiratory- distressed, premature baby in the small city of Nuiqsut, in North Slope Borough, Alaska. Thanks to the team’s response, baby was successfully transported to the care of Providence Hospital. Although far outside of “normal” job duties, personnel responded professionally and effectively to what appears to have indeed been a lifesaving exercise.

Sponsored by: Alaska Regional Hospital

Sayde Ridling
In July 2016, a 60-year-old man collapsed from a heart attack while visiting Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center in Juneau. 911 dispatcher Sayde Ridling fielded the call from park rangers while an ambulance was in route. Ridling communicated with rangers while they used an automatic external defibrillator (AED) to begin shocks and CPR. Thanks to Ridling’s leadership skills and quick response, the man’s life was saved.

Sponsored by: PRA

Lt. Matthew Keiper, Lt. John Rauschenberger, AST1 Simon Ochoa, AMT2 Zachary Thoman
A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued six hunters outside Nome in Juneau after their two vessels became stranded by sea ice. The crew were hunting walrus 122 miles north of Nome when the vessels were cut off from open water by sea ice. The vessels contacted Alaska State Troopers for help, who in turn contacted the Coast Guard when communications were cut off. The crew of an Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter rescued the boaters and transported them to Shishmaref.

Sponsored by: Sam’s Wholesale Dimond

Officer Mitchel Veenstra
In May 2016, Officer Mitchel Veenstra of the Anchorage Police Department responded to a single car roll-over accident. The car was on fire, with smoke billowing from the windows. The driver, whose arm was pinned under the vehicle, was conscious and screaming for help. Officer Veenstra quickly solicited help from passersby as flames started to creep up the vehicle. The Officer and four men moved the car off the driver and removed him from the vehicle. Seconds later, the car erupted in flames.

Sponsored by: BP

Matt Bowen
In October 2016, Carlile driver Matt Bowen came across a single vehicle roll over collision on the Dalton Highway. Bowen found the driver in critical condition. Bowen called for emergency medical personnel, stayed with the injured man until the ambulance arrived on scene, then accompanied the team in the ambulance on the 2-hour drive to Deadhorse. Bowen provided critical support while in route. The driver has since recovered from the life-threatening accident, thanks largely to the heroic efforts of Bowen.

What Makes a Hero?