2014 Heroes

Keith Booze

Spirit AeroSystems Military Hero

While SSgt. Keith Booze was at swimming lessons with his three-year-old daughter in June, he noticed a young student had fallen into the pool. Without hesitation, SSgt. Booze jumped into the pool fully clothed and rescued the young girl from drowning. He pulled the girl from the pool to safety on the deck. After ensuring the girl was safe, he notified the girl's mother and staff to what had transpired. SSgt. Booze’s decisive action prevented what could have been a dire situation for the young girl.

In addition to this heroic event, SSgt. Booze’s colleagues say he regularly goes above and beyond the call of duty without hesitation or complaint. He supervises several young airmen, many who are new to the military and away from their families for the first time. He takes special interest and care in his airmen's lives. During the holiday season, SSgt. Booze makes sure that his airmen are not alone. He invites them all to his home to spend this special time with his family. SSgt. Booze ensures that even though his airmen are away from home, they still have family to spend the holidays with. SSgt. Booze is a true hero day in and day out.


Dana Davis and Dicie Nicklaus

NuStar Energy LP Disaster Relief Heroes

Dana Davis and Dicie Nicklaus are a mother-daughter team of exceptional volunteers for the American Red Cross. Together they work tirelessly with the Wichita Disaster Action Team (DAT), not only responding to disasters, but helping with volunteer recruitment and engagement.

Both women have a fierce commitment to helping people. After joining the Red Cross in April 2012, Davis retired from her job to spend more time volunteering and assists with local house fires as well as large-scale disasters. She has logged 2,884 on-call and worked hours thus far.

Davis has worked several major Disaster Relief Operations, including the May 2013 Oklahoma Tornadoes, September 2013 Illinois Tornadoes and the April 2014 Baxter Springs Tornado. In addition, Davis works with volunteer management as new Disaster volunteers join the Red Cross. She contacts each new volunteer, schedules appointments to orient them to Disaster, connects them with mentors, provides information about training and helps them get scheduled with the DAT.

Nicklaus is a DAT Lead who works tirelessly to generate enthusiasm among members and to improve attendance at meetings. She has logged 5,293 on-call and worked hours in her short time with the Red Cross. She teaches Disaster Service Overview and DAT Workshop, in addition to volunteering in Community Disaster Education. She is creative and has used that trait to enhance the educational opportunities available to volunteers, and uses her entrepreneurial skills and educational background to improve the quality and efficiency of DAT procedures. Nicklaus is the mother of six children, yet she still makes time to volunteer.


Jami Dessenberger

Capitol Federal Good Samaritan Hero

When Melvin Lamb was attending Grandparent's Day with his 7-year-old grandson in November 2013, he coded with a massive heart attack. His grandson quickly noticed and got the attention of the school staff. Jami, the school nurse, used an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and CPR on Lamb and was able to restore a very faint heartbeat until the paramedics arrived. Lamb says the fast action Dessenberger used saved his life. Since this incident Dessenberger and the Valley Center school district have had two more AEDs installed within in the district. Lamb says he owes his life to Jami and the other people that had a hand in his survival.


Chad Dunham

Emprise Bank Firefighter Hero

In the early morning hours of February 19, 2014, firefighters responded to a fire at the Parklane Alley Apartments. Heavy smoke and flames were pushing from a first floor apartment into the second and third floors. The fire was spreading, quickly trapping several occupants. Captain Chad Dunham directed operations which resulted in the rescue of seven of the building’s occupants. During an assessment of fire conditions he was told of an individual trapped on the third floor. Dunham quickly entered the smoke-filled building to find Nielie Elvin barely conscious. Dunham was able to carry her out of the burning building and she was then transported to the hospital in critical condition. She spent 23 days in the hospital, 17 of which on a ventilator, but has since recovered from the fire. With the knowledge and courage Dunham displayed, his colleagues say he serves as an inspiration to every member of the fire department. His extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in kee ping with highest traditions of the American fire service and reflect great credit upon himself and the Wichita Fire Department.

Dunham has been a member of the Wichita Fire Department since 1999. During his 15 years of service he has demonstrated a propensity for training with an emphasis on highly specialized truck company operations. Truck operations involve ladders, overhaul, ventilation, forcible entry, search, rescue, salvage and utility control and are therefore often seen as the less glamorous activities at the scene of a fire. Presently, Dunham is at the top of his game. Dunham’s awareness, knowledge and training were tested and valiantly displayed during the fire at Parklane Alley Apartments.


Ashley Farmer

Fidelity Bank Youth Good Samaritan Hero

Ashley Farmer is a very driven, intelligent and caring young lady. She has donated and given her time to numerous charities and organizations over the past three years. Ashley attends Metro Meridian Alternative High School in Wichita, where she hopes to graduate during her junior year. She is a key organizer in all of the school's volunteer and charity work. She has helped organize and gather students for countless events with organizations like the Red Cross Blood Services, Numana, Caring Center in Augusta, Salvation Army, Kansas Food Bank, Assistance League of Wichita, United Way of the Plains, Gowntown, Wichita State and Children’s Miracle Network. She helped develop and organize a community "Garden in a Box" program last May that provided families with numerous garden plants. Farmer has a huge heart and is constantly finding ways to give back to her community. She has more volunteer hours in the past year than most adults do in a lifetime.


Carol Keller

BKD Community Hero

Carol Keller exemplifies generosity with her time and talents as a committed volunteer with the Free Spirits, a local program in Derby that provides recreational activities for people with developmental delays and physical disabilities. Keller has been the driving force for the Free Spirits since the inception of the organization in 1983. As a physical therapist who used to work with students in the Derby School District special education program, Keller spends hours every month as a volunteer with the Derby Free Spirits. She is also a coach and chaperone for Special Olympics, and each summer she spearheads a national qualifier in Derby for physically challenged athletes called the Challenge Games. Keller is a true gem of the Derby community, dedicating hours each month to assisting individuals with disabilities lead full and enjoyable lives through recreational programs.


Shannon Reed

AEI LLC EMS Hero

On the evening of June 8, 2014 at around 7:20 pm the lives of several people changed. Shannon Reed and her EMS partner responded to a call of a possible code blue. After arriving, they were directed into the home by an extremely distraught parent to find a two month old female in cardiac/respiratory arrest. Under the direction of Reed, they managed to provide CPR and defibrillate the baby, saving her life. Later it was determined that the baby suffers from a rare genetic heart condition. Reed showed great leadership and composure in a very intense and emotional scene.

Coworkers say Reed has an ongoing commitment to EMS, EMS Education/EMS Training, and to continuing her own education and medical knowledge. She attends regular trainings and conducts trainings for students and new hires.


Patty Stuever

iSi Environmental Give Life Hero

Patty Stuever has been a dedicated platelet donor with the American Red Cross since 2006 and has been donating whole blood since 1993. She continues to donate bi-weekly, and always comes with a smile and a positive and uplifting demeanor. She has donated more than 20 gallons of blood. That equates to hundreds of lives being saved with her donations of blood and platelets.

Stuever’s heroism doesn’t end with blood donations. Her selflessness goes even further within the community. She has been the activities director with Camp Hope, a camp for children with cancer, for 14 years. Recently, the camp lost funding from the American Cancer Society, who decided to devote more funding to research. Stuever took it upon herself to organize her own fundraisers and within two months was able to generate funds for the children to be able to attend camp without outside funding.

Stuever’s commitment and selfless devotion to making an impact on another person's life, by all means necessary, and humble manner surpasses the expectations which define the word hero.


Teddy Wisely

INTRUST Bank Law Enforcement Hero

In September 2013, Officer Teddy Wisely responded to the report of a burglary and after gathering the necessary information for the report, provided the victim with a detailed list of precautionary measures she could take to better protect her residence. However, the very next day the residence was burglarized a second time. Wisely continued to keep in contact with the victim for weeks after the incidents while he conducted follow up. He was able to develop information about two suspects who were known to the victim and shared their information with the beat team. A vehicle stop was made on one of the suspect’s vehicles and inside were pawn receipts matching items taken in the burglaries. Officer Wisely contacted the pawn shop and placed holds on the stolen items and notified burglary detectives. The suspects were later charged in District Court and some of the property was recovered and returned.

Wisely proactively addresses crime trends and conducts exhaustive follow up in an effort to improve law enforcement efforts to address these problems. He provides excellent customer service to citizens. The police department has received numerous compliments on his courteous demeanor and professional attitude.

The victim later contacted the Wichita Police Department via Policeweb stating "Officer Wisely is the best officer I ever had dealings with. He is a true professional and showed true concern for us. Thank God for him."