Real Heroes Breakfast - 2018 Honorees

Marine Rescue:
Hero: Captain Christian Trosvig
Sponsored by: Dowland-Bach

In July 2017, Captain Christian Trosvig and his crew of three were returning after an afternoon salmon fishing in the Kupreanof Straight off the coast of Alaska’s Raspberry Island. Their vessel, the Grayling began to take on water. After making a distress call, the Grayling rolled, throwing Trosvig and the three fishermen overboard. All but one fisherman made it out of the water safely. Trosvig dove back into 40-degree water and swam through rough conditions to rescue the unconscious crewman. Once onboard the rescue boat, Trosvig performed CPR and revived the fisherman. Thanks to Trosvig’s heroic efforts, all four fishermen survived the incident.

Transportation Safety:
Heroes: Anchorage Police Department
Sponsored by: BP Alaska

The Anchorage Police department stepped up to fill a policing void on the heavily traveled Seward Highway—an area where an average of 10,000 vehicles travel each day. In October 2017, APD began patrolling mile 75 to 112 of the Seward Highway thanks to a legislative grant. APD, with the help of other community members, solved an ongoing transportation safety concern that will undoubtedly lead to lives saved.

Wilderness Rescue:
Hero: Obadiah Jenkins
Sponsored by: Petrotechnical Resources of Alaska, LLC

Obadiah Jenkins had just finished his pre-race run in preparation for the Six Mile Creek Whitewater & Bluegrass Festival in August of 2017 when he heard a cry for help from a spectator. There was a man nearby who’s kayak flipped and was dumped out, and he was pinned partially under water. After several rescue attempts by a crew of kayakers, the man lost consciousness and was fully submerged under water. Risking his own safety, Jenkins jumped in and pulled the man out of harms way. The man was resuscitated and taken to a hospital where he was quickly released, thanks to Jenkins’ act of bravery.

Military/Law Enforcement Rescue:
Hero: Chaplain Brian Phipps
Sponsored by: Walmart Eagle River

According to his peers, Chaplain Brian Phipps displays character, integrity, and dedication to the chaplaincy that is above reproach. He single-handedly coordinated, planned, and executed three memorial services, a funeral, and family support for three deceased Paratroopers within the Spartan Brigade over the second half of 2017. Chaplain Phipps is also the primary Brigade instructor for Suicide Awareness training, among a host of other classes that he provides in support of Soldier resiliency within the Spartan Brigade. Through all of this, in such a condensed amount of time, he persisted with a great attitude, and accomplished what was most definitely an overwhelming set of tasks.

Alaska/Slope Safety:
Heroes: The Southeast Alaska Dogs Organized for Ground Search (SEADOGS)
Sponsored by: ExxonMobil Alaska

The Southeast Alaska Dogs Organized for Ground Search (SEADOGS) is a volunteer nonprofit search and rescue organization dedicated to training and handling search dogs in Southeast Alaska. Dogs can be certified in several different skills, including finding human remains, avalanche search, and rescue and water training. Certified handlers are on 24-hour call, and available within 40 minutes or less of notification for a search. Every year SEADOGS participates in searches involving everything from lost hunters to suicide victims.

Youth Good Samaritan:
Heroes: Losefa Riley John and Seth Gerrin
Sponsored by: First National Bank Alaska

Fourteen-year-old Losefa Riley John and three of his friends were at Cope Park in March 2017, when they witnessed a young boy lose his footing while hiking, and fall into Gold Creek. The waters were running fast and the boy became stuck between a fence and a tree, in an area where the water can get up to eight feet deep. John quickly slid down the side of the cliff to the boy, pulled him out of the water, and carried him to safety where paramedics were just arriving on the scene. Thanks to John’s act of bravery, the young boy only suffered minor bumps and bruises that day.

Adult Good Samaritan:
Hero: Andrew Cunningham
Sponsored by: Providence Health & Services Alaska

Andrew Cunningham took off across Eklutna Lake via standup paddleboard in September 2017, his destination a public use cabin more than three miles down the lake. When he noticed an overturned tandem kayak, he paddled closer to find a second tandem kayak overturned, and two struggling in the cold water. The two individuals held on to the paddle board while Cunningham fought choppy waves for an hour trip back to shore. Cunningham listened to his gut when he saw the abandoned kayak and ended up saving two lives that day.

Medical Rescue:
Hero: Nenana Fire Chief Joe Forness
Sponsored by: Alaska Regional Hospital

When Nenana Fire Chief Joe Forness began experiencing chest pains, his wife, Larenda Forness, a Nenana Fire Lieutenant, called an ambulance. On his way to the hospital, his chest pain slowed. When the ambulance came across a collision between a snow machine and vehicle with someone in critical condition, Forness did what he does best. He put his own health risks to the side and began helping the collision victim. After getting the victim to the hospital and handing off to the ER team, Forness felt the chest pain return. After assisting the collision victim, Forness was airlifted to Anchorage, where he underwent quintuple coronary artery bypass surgery.

Workplace Safety:
Heroes: Kimberly Dang, Breanna Love and Larry Davis
Sponsored by: ConocoPhillips

Kimberly Dang, Breanna Love and Larry Davis were three key responders on July 22, when a ConocoPhillips employee experienced a sudden and extreme cardiac event just after 4 a.m. in Kuparuk. Through the team’s immediate and sustained efforts, their co-worker presented with return of spontaneous circulation and was successfully transported to the onsite medical clinic. Their co-worker was then successfully stabilized and medevac’d from the remote North Slope facility to higher level care and ultimately returned home safely to friends and family. Nationwide, similar events average single digit survival rates.

Fire Rescue:
Hero: Andrew Engelking
Sponsored by: Anchorage Fire Fighters Union Local 1264

Andrew Engelking and his family lived in unit 303 at the Royal Suite Apartments, not far from where the flames started on the morning of February 15, 2017 when the building caught fire. With his family’s lives on the line, Engelking’s adrenaline kicked in. After jumping three stories to the ground and breaking his own leg, Engelking proceeded to catch his children and pregnant wife. His new daughter, Liberty, was delivered prematurely by emergency cesarean section the day of the fire. Thanks to his quick actions and heroic efforts, he and his family are safe and well.