2013 Heroes

Danny Smith

Fidelity Bank, Youth Good Samaritan Hero

When 15-year-old Danny heard about the tornado that hit Moore, Okla., his first thought was that he had to organize a trip for the Boy Scouts to go down and help clean up. He had been to Joplin to help clean up after a tornado a few years earlier and was deeply affected. He had a number of road blocks thrown in his way, but he persisted. He knew he had to help the people in Oklahoma, but also wanted to provide the opportunity for the Boy Scouts in his troop to have this moving experience.

Danny organized food and clothing collections to be delivered. He also organized/mobilized most of the boys in his troop to make the trip with him. He coordinated parents to drive and trailers to haul the supplies. They arrived in Newcastle on June 14 and spent two days working in the area to clean up tornado damage. The weather was extremely hot and humid. Along with working on clean up, Danny watched over his boys and the adults, making sure everyone was taking breaks and staying hydrated. He demonstrated some incredible and selfless leadership skills through the whole process.

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Randall Butler

Spirit AeroSystems, Military Hero

n July, Master Sgt. Jeremy Heitman and his wife Joy invited their friends Master Sgt. Randy Butler and his wife Kellie Butler to their house for a barbeque. The Heitmans’ daughters had just finished swimming, when the Butlers arrived. Shortly after their arrival, the Butlers’ small dog ran out in the street. While Joy and her 7-year-old ran after the dog, her 4-year-old Emma went inside to watch a movie.

While everyone was chasing the dog, Emma went outside and into the pool and was later found face-down. Joy quickly dove in and retrieved her daughter. Randy began CPR, with the assistance of Emma’s dad, while Joy dialed 911. After what seemed like an eternity to the men, they revived Emma to the point of shallow breathing. The ambulance arrived and took Emma to the hospital, where she was later released.

Emma’s dad, Jeremy, says Randy’s heroism not only saved his daughter, but his family. There have been many changes influenced by Randy’s act of heroism. The Heitmans perspective on life has really changed. Their sense of safety and security has been heightened by this event. They have taken CPR and home safety classes to identify safety hazards and have the skills necessary to handle future mishaps.

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Richard West

INTRUST Bank, Law Enforcement Hero

Officer Richard West has served the Wichita Police Department with honor since 2002. He has served as the beat coordinator for 38 beat in East Wichita for six years. Throughout his tenure, he has continuously volunteered to adjust his schedule to the needs of his stakeholders by conducting warrant sweeps, attending neighborhood association meetings and all duties associated with the title of being a beat coordinator

Officer West has gone above and beyond his scope as both a police officer and a beat coordinator in each of his years working for the Wichita Police Department. One example of this is in his development of the Halloween in the Park program. The purpose of this program is to teach safe habits to children during the Halloween season. He has spearheaded this event each and every year to the point the event has had over ten thousand attendees over the last six years.

Officer West regularly rearranges his personal schedule to assist the Wichita Police Department Training Academy in training CPR to new recruits and to recertify law enforcements officers. Officer West has approached by Academy staff in 2011 and was asked to help teach first aid to first responders due to his background as an EMS member and as a certified trainer. He was more than happy to offer his times and knowledge to the department. He has since instructed over twenty classes. He has taught life saving techniques to teach academy class since 2011.

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Kelley Riegle and Louise Thomason

Capitol Federal, Good Samaritan Heroes

In July, Kelley Riegle and Louise Thomason began to notice the sound of a smoke alarm from the house next door. Kelley ran to the home to check on occupants as Louise called 911. The two women were aware there were children in the home most of the time. Kelley went to the front door, but could not get it open. As she made her way to the back door, she could hear the children calling for help and saying they could not get out. Kelley worked the door open and the three children rushed to her from inside the smoke-filled home. As emergency responders arrived on the scene, Kelley and Louise handed the children over to crews and family members.

It was determined that fire initially involved the clothing of the 6-year-old and spread to the contents of the bedroom, placing all three children in extreme danger. Two of the children, ages 6 and 7, were transported to Via Christi St. Francis for injuries, including severe burns suffered by the 6-year-old.

This fire was a tragedy that included the death of the severely injured 6-year-old girl. Undoubtedly, the quick actions of Kelley and Louise were key in preventing this tragic event from progressing even further. Without their quick thinking and actions, it is very likely the 4 and 7-year-old children would have suffered significant injuries, and perhaps even perished in the fire.

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Robert Harvey

iSi Environmental, Give Life Hero

Bob has been a long time platelet donor who has reached his 60-gallon mark. Donating platelets is very personal to Bob and donates on a regular basis, every other Wednesday like clockwork.

Not everyone who donates blood can donate platelets. In addition to meeting all of the whole blood donation requirements, a platelet donor must meet additional requirements. Platelet donors must have a high platelet count, larger blood volume, and bigger, stronger veins to handle the additional push and pull of the Apheresis machine as it removes whole blood, filters out the platelets, and returns the plasma and red blood cells to the donor. It also takes more time to donate platelets – between two to three hours.

Platelets are used primarily by cancer and leukemia patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatments, as well as for burn victims and patients undergoing major surgeries. Platelets are the cellular components of the blood that aids in clotting. In a unit of donated whole blood, there are about two to three tablespoons of platelets. It takes six to 10 of these from various donors to equal one adult-size dose. One of Bob’s platelet donations typically yields two adult doses.

Undoubtedly, Bob’s 480 platelet donations have helped improve and helped save the lives of many.

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Captain Matt Bowen

Emprise Bank, Firefighter Hero

Captain Bowen is described by those that work with him as an exemplary role model, the kind of fire officer they strive to become. They provide effusive praise for his strong desire to improve himself and his subordinates. Captain Bowen is recognized as a subject matter expert for his efforts related to training and highly specialized truck company operations, as well as numerous contributions to the department’s fire company training programs. Countless lives have been saved by Captain Bowen’s knowledge and skill on emergency scenes.

Captain Bowen has faithfully served the Wichita community since 1991. His commitment to the fire service and willingness to perform above and beyond the call of duty is unquestioned. Peers and subordinates speak highly of Captain Bowen’s passion for the job, energy, compassion for his subordinates, and his integrity. Bowen’s kindness and commitment to those assigned to his current east Wichita fire station is unmatched. He is known to reach out to sick or injured firefighters and is always available to provide his wisdom and guidance whether on or off duty. Others have identified Bowen as an extremely effective advocate not only to those fortunate enough to work with him, but the entire department.

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J. David Reed


J. David was acting Division Leader and responded to a call at McConnell Air Force Base with an ambulance crew from Derby. The patient sustained a critical injury to his neck when a barbell containing 450lbs landed across his trachea. J. David and the crews recognized the dire need for intervention to stabilize the patient and prepare for emergency transport to a local Trauma Center. The patient had an endotracheal intubation on the scene of the call that provided patency of his cardiopulmonary arrest. Management of the scene and direct proficient decision making by J. David saved the life of the patient.

J. David has served the citizens of Sedgwick County as a paramedic for nearly 26 years. He has most certainly been directly responsible for saving the lives of many people and has played a major part in reducing mortality and severe injury and illness to thousands of patients. He is a role model for others and his leadership skills and abilities give others a very high bar to reach for.

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Evelyn Schall

NuStar Energy L.P., Disaster Relief Hero

velyn Schall has been a Red Cross Disaster Services volunteer since 2005 and has served well over 6,500 hours.

Evelyn has gone above and beyond her usual responsibilities to assist with data clean-up in preparation for migration to a new volunteer data system. She spent many hours completing data migration templates, offering her analytical expertise.

Evelyn is a team player who cares about the American Red Cross, Midway-Kansas Chapter and the clients we serve. Her administration efforts, in addition to her direct service roles, are priceless in helping us fulfill the Red Cross mission.

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Terry Whiteside

BKD, Community Hero

In March, Deputy Powell with the Sedgwick County Sherriff Office was involved in a chase after trying to conduct a routine traffic stop. The chase ended near Potwin, Kan. and the two suspects ran on foot on the property of Terry Whiteside. Deputy Powell was shot at by both suspects, one hitting him on the right side of his body. Deputy Powell fired back and retreated back to Terry’s garage.

The deputy had suffered a gunshot wound to his right eye, causing temporary blindness.

When Terry heard gunshots on his property, he immediately jumped into action. He quickly ran outside to find Deputy Powell on the ground and bleeding. Without any regard to his own life, Terry ran to Deputy Powell’s aid. He then provided cover for him and notified him that the suspects were travelling away from the scene. This allowed Deputy Powell to notify in-coming law enforcement of the suspects’ whereabouts.

During the investigation it was determined that Terry had acted above and beyond what is expected from a citizen in such a volatile situation. It is safe to say that this incident could have ended more tragically if it not for the actions of Terry.

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