Central and Mid Coast Maine Real Heroes

  • Central and Mid Coast Maine Red Cross Real Heroes

The American Red Cross in Central and Mid Coast Maine honored six individuals and the Bath Iron Works crew of the USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) at its “Real Heroes” Breakfast ceremony on Tuesday, May 10th at the Ramada Inn and Conference Center in Lewiston.

Recipients included a passerby who ran to the scene of a burning pickup truck and pulled an 8-year old boy to safety by cutting him free from his seat belt and the Bath Iron Works crew of the USS Zumwalt that assisted in the rescue of a distressed fisherman off the coast of Maine. In addition, the Red Cross will honor an 11-year-old boy who remained calm during a home invasion and called 911 to alter the authorities about the intruder.

When faced with a challenge, these individuals responded with extraordinary courage and that is why the Red Cross of Central and Mid Coast are honoring them with this year’s “Real Heroes” awards.

The 2016 Central and Mid Coast Real Heroes recipients were:

Maine Red Cross Hero Laura Benedict, The Red Barn Restaurant

Laura Benedict, The Red Barn Restaurant (of Augusta, ME), Real Heroes Event, Honorary Chair

For the last 39 years, the locally owned Red Barn Restaurant, in Augusta, has provided a friendly dining experience for its customers and has been giving back to the community in so many different ways. Through dozens of fundraising campaigns and benefit events, the Red Barn has contributed thousands of dollars to local organizations and individuals and brought as many community members together to share in a sense of community in a “local chicken joint.” Hundreds of individuals have benefited from Laura’s commitment to our local community.


Red Cross Hero Laurie Rumpf

Laurie Rumpf (of China, ME), Real Heroes Blood Services Award

Every 56 days, the town of China holds a community-wide blood drive, organized by Laurie Rumpf. After her father passed away in 2008, Laurie wanted to do something to commemorate his life that would make a difference in the lives of others. During his illness, her dad had received numerous pints of blood and she vowed to “pay it back.” Laurie’s early effort consisted of eight family members and friends traveling down to Portland to give blood each year but has since grown to include the entire China community at a drive held locally each month. Since 2009, Laurie has collected thousands of pints of life-saving blood as well as donated blood herself. Laurie is a true “fanatic” of blood donations – even researching locations to give blood when she goes on vacation.


Maine Red Cross Hero June Casler

June Casler (of Topsham, ME), Real Heroes Workplace Safety Award

For the last 10 years, June has served as a Lead Server/Shift Leader at The Highlands, a residential retirement community for seniors in Topsham. In her role, June interacts with just about everyone in the facility and is adored by its residents. On three separate occasions, June has successfully performed Abdominal Thrusts (formerly called the Heimlich Maneuver) on residents. Her ability to remain calm and her emergency response training has saved the lives of three individuals. One gentleman calls her his “lifesaver” every time he passes by accompanied by a big hug.


Red Cross Heroes Medal

Ethan Reno (of Bath, ME), Real Heroes Youth Award

When 11-year-old Ethan Reno and his mother returned home, they found an intruder hiding in their shower. The intruder fled the home after having an altercation with Ethan’s mother but while this was going on Ethan, remained calm and called 911. Ethan gave the dispatcher information about the break-in, where they lived and provided detailed information about the intruder. Ethan’s description of the individual provided the Sagadahoc County Sherriff’s office and the Bath Police Department with vital information to help them apprehend the perpetrator later that same day. After the incident, Bath Police Chief Michael Field said, “Ethan’s courage and composure under pressure was extraordinary and should be lauded as a shining example of how citizens can help us fight crime. He is a young man, mature beyond his years.”


Maine Red Cross Heroes Trevor Hanna and John Dow

Trevor Hanna (of Oakland, ME) and John Dow (of Elliot, ME) Real Heroes Life Saving Award

When Trevor Hanna saw a burning pickup truck in a ditch on Route 27 in Sidney one Sunday afternoon, he ran to help. Upon arriving on the scene, Trevor immediately saw an 8-year old boy in the backseat of a rolled vehicle that was currently on its roof. “We are going to get you out,” yelled Trevor as he grabbed his multi-tool Leatherman from his belt to free the boy. Trevor cut the seat belt and he and another Good Samaritan, John Dow, pulled the boy out of the vehicle through the window seconds before the burning truck exploded. Trevor and John’s heroism, courage and bravery saved the life of an 8-year old boy.


Maine Red Cross Heroes Crew from Bath Iron Works of the USS Zumwalt DDG-1000

Crew from Bath Iron Works of the USS Zumwalt DDG-1000 (of Bath, ME), Real Heroes Rescue at Sea Award

On its first sea trails off the coast of Maine, the Bath Iron Works crew of the USS Zumwalt could never have anticipated being called to assist in the rescue of a local fishing boat captain but it happened. At 2:00am, the Coast Guard received a distress call from a fishing vessel; its captain was suffering chest pains and needed emergency medical services. The Coast Guard helicopter that responded to the distress call determined that it was unsafe to hoist the victim from the fishing boat, so the USS Zumwalt which was in the area, sent a small boat and crew out to the scene. After transferring the fisherman to the destroyer, the man was safely hoisted into the helicopter and transported to Portland for further medical services.