Five year old Dominick Hernandez would have probably lost his life if Christine Saurette hadn’t acted quickly.
The kids at the school often refer to Saurette, who worked at the school cafeteria for the three years, as Miss Chris. It was the usual lunch time at the Samuel Watson Elementary School, when Christine heard someone scream “He’s choking!” She immediately rushed to Hernandez and started administering several chest thrusts to dislodge the food item. After a few minutes Hernandez started throwing up and Christine realized that the boy was out of danger.
It was her quick thinking and presence of mind that saved the boy’s life. However Christine doesn’t think of it as a heroic act and maintains that anyone in her place would have done the same thing. But for Hernandez and his parents, she is a lifesaver and their hero.
Principal Cathy Carvalho agrees that Christine saved the day and the school is forever grateful for preventing a terrible tragedy. We are grateful to Christine Saurette for her heroic act and proud to name her one of this year’s Lifesaving Heroes.
Coast Guard crews make the impossible seem routine every day. But this particular crew faced challenging conditions that were well beyond routine, putting themselves in grave danger in order to rescue a father and son caught in a winter storm on Nantucket Sound.
Lt. John Hess, Aircraft Commander; Lt. Matthew Vanderslice, Co-Pilot; AMT2 Derrick Suba, Flight Mechanic; and AST3 Evan Staph, Rescue Swimmer – worked together as a team to save the lives of two sailors adrift in heavy seas in blizzard conditions in the winter of 2015.
It all started when Crewman Staph, the aviation technician, received a distress signal from a vessel Sedona on February 15, 2015 at 4:30 a.m. The vessel had two men aboard, a father and his adult son - they had activated an emergency beacon from their boat. The two had hoped to outrun the storm, but had experienced mechanical engine failure, which left them at the mercy of blizzard conditions in dangerous seas.
Crewman Suba was the flight mechanic on duty that night. He recognized that the situation was grave, due to the conditions on Nantucket Sound. The abilities of the crew and their aircraft would be challenged that day well beyond that of an ordinary Coast Guard rescue.
The crewmembers needed to act quickly, as the boat was far offshore. They scrambled to their aircraft, lifting off for a flight to the boat that took nearly an hour, as they fought 60 mph winds, with waves of 25-25 feet. Officer Suba described it as a winter hurricane. They flew straight into the eye of the hurricane, flying through lightning and thunder. On reaching the disabled boat, they realized that the situation was worse than they had anticipated.
The crew immediately devised a strategy to use rescue baskets to retrieve the sailors in distress. Officer Staph was lowered in a harness fifty feet below the helicopter as the commander struggled to hold it in position in the heavy winds and high seas. Staph’s job was to enter the water and carefully maneuver people and equipment from the helicopter. After analyzing the scene, the crew advised the sailors to cut their sails free. Officer Staph noticed that the Sedona was moving fast surrounded with a lot of debris.
Swimming to the boat was hard, as Officer Staph was going up current. It was almost impossible to reach the boat with all the rigging and debris moving along his path. He finally caught a line and hung on to it. He told the father and son onboard to stay clear of the rigging and explained them the rescue plan.
Officer Staph first asked the father to get off the boat and then swam with him using controlled cross-chest-carrying, called as buddy towing, towards the helicopter through 30 feet high waves. The father was hoisted up and Staph was informed that the second rescue would be even more difficult as the hoist being used to raise and lower him had failed.
Despite the adverse situation, Officer Staph went back and rescued the son in the same way as he saved his father. He suffered from an electric shock due to static electricity on the hoist and was unconscious for 5 minutes. After regaining consciousness, he swam towards the helicopter with the second sailor, feeling nauseous and disoriented. He got the sailor hoisted up safely. In total, Rescue Swimmer Staph was in the water for 40 minutes.
Crew members Hess, Vanderslice, Staph and Suba, displayed extraordinary courage and saved two lives, by risking their own. We salute these men and choose them as one of this year’s Armed Forces Heroes.
Late the evening of February 8, 2015, the crew of the HC-144A Ocean Sentry – called by its aircraft registration number – 2309 – received an urgent message. With the crew of Lt. Jamison Ferriell, Lt. Erik Price, AMT3 Eric Woods and AMT3 Christopher Lelyo found out that a helicopter mission had been scrubbed due to weather conditions in Boston. The crew of the 2309 would be needed to fly a team of three doctors and an isolette to Nantucket to pick up a neonatal patient in need of medevac from the island and get it to badly needed medical attention in Boston.
The weather was challenging – a winter storm had crippled air traffic throughout New England. The crew of the 2309 would be flying in conditions at or near the maximum wind limits for their 36,000 pound turboprop aircraft, as well as in some of the most challenging snow and ice conditions an aviator can see. The ground crews continuously plowed Runway 32 at US Coast Guard Station Cape Cod for the next two hours while the crew planned their flight. When the doctors arrived well after midnight their gear was loaded and the aircraft pushed from the hangar.
After engine start, the crew turned on all available anti-ice devices on the aircraft and deicing spray was applied. A light snow was falling. But by the time the crew taxied to the runway, the weather had turned into near blizzard conditions. With the crosswinds barely within limits, power was applied and the aircraft accelerated down the runway on its mission to save a child. As it lifted off, it immediately disappeared into whiteout conditions, with heavy snow and ice pellets pounding the aircraft.
The weather in Nantucket was marginally better than Cape Cod and the crew flew an approach to Runway 6 and broke out into a light rain at 600 feet. The doctors and their equipment were rushed to the hospital to pick up the child. When they returned and were boarded, the crew taxied out and departed back to Cape Cod. The approach back to the airport was challenging, with snow blanketing the area and severe crosswinds on the only available runway at Joint Base Cape Cod. The crew flew an approach in heavy winds and snow, breaking out into the clear just 100 feet above minimums. They taxied to the ramp and the doctors and their patient were transferred to an awaiting ambulance for the snowy drive in Cape Cod for much-needed medical attention in Boston.
We are grateful for the crew’s determination and bravery in ensuring the safety of the medical crew and the infant. We are proud to name the crew of CG2309, Lts. Ferriell and Price and AMT3s Woods and Lelyo as one of this year’s Armed Forces Heroes.
The Cape Cod Five Cents Saving Bank Charitable Foundation is synonymous with community service and charity. They strongly believe that in every community there is work to be done and that in every heart there is the power to do it.
The Cape Cod Five Cents Saving Bank Charitable Foundation was founded in 1998. Since then its sole purpose has been community upliftment and betterment through various services. It has supported numerous non-profit organizations to work towards building a better and a more educated community. In 2014, they donated over $1 million 264 different community projects.
The Foundation has supported these organizations to address community priorities such as first time homebuyer education, providing affordable food and access to health care, preventing vulnerable embayment and substance abuse among others. Each year they encourage such organizations to continue providing their services in a selfless and dedicated manner to create a healthy community for everyone. Cape Cod Five also supports the initiative of Financial Education in local schools, as the need for it seems greater than ever. It aims at providing students with the basic knowledge to help them make responsible financial decisions.
Dorothy Savarese took over the reins of the Foundation in 2005 as the Chairman. Since then she has worked tirelessly in ensuring that the Cape Cod Five Charitable Foundation continues to support the non-profit organizations and the various initiatives for a better community.
David Willard, who has been with Cape Cod Five for the past 48 years, is the backbone of this Foundation. There is not a single non-profit in Cape who hasn’t heard of him.
Together, Dorothy and Dave have devoted their time and energy towards serving their community and are proud to name them as our Community Impact Hero.
Sometimes coincidences happen for a really good reason. In case of Bill Shields and Chuck Martinsen, this coincidence was a life-saving one!
Chuck Martinsen, deputy director of Falmouth Department of Marine and Environmental Services, had finally got all the emergency vehicles at his department installed with defibrillators. What he did not imagine was saving someone’s life the very next day, using the newly installed defibrillators.
Bill Shields, along with his wife, was out jogging on Surf Drive, when he suddenly collapsed. His wife, completely shocked, started yelling for help. Luckily for the couple, Chuck Martinsen was also driving on Surf Drive, when he heard the screams. He immediately pulled over and with his two responders began to administer aid to an unconscious Bill. But things were not improving. They had lost his pulse. Using the new AED installed in his vehicle as a result of his efforts, he reestablished the heartbeat while a Falmouth patrolman gave him CPR.
Bill was thereafter taken to the hospital by the fire department, where his heart rate was stabilized. The medical staff concluded that the device saved his life.
Chuck’s kindness did not just end there. He went to the hospital with Bill and his wife and stayed with her till someone from their immediate family came to be with them.
Every member of the Shields family thinks that if it was not for Chuck and his farsightedness of installing defibrillators, Bill would have been in a very critical situation today. We are so grateful to Chuck for his efforts in making our c0ommunity a safer place and for helping to save Bill’s life. We are proud to name him one of this year’s Lifesaving Heroes.
Douglas G. Mann, an otolaryngologist at Falmouth Hospital is used to seeing and treating patients every day. Little did he know he would be called upon to utilize his medical skills while running a road race.
The incident took place when Dr. Mann was on the Shining Sea bike path in the Falmouth Road Race. He observed a fairly large crowd forming ahead of him and as he approached the crowd, he saw a man lying on the ground, in distress, his face turned purple. He could see that the crowd wanted to help but clearly did not know how.
Dr. Mann found out that the man had fallen over the handlebars of his bike, landing face first on the pathway. He noticed the helmet was damaged, pitched to the side form the force of the fall and quickly realized that the man on the ground was not breathing. Dr. Mann’s medical instincts kicked in and he immediately started to clear the man’s airway.
Along with giving chest compressions, he gave him air through his nose, administering CPR. The first bystander and Dr. Mann helped each other in reviving the man, simultaneously doing compression and breaths. The team effort was a success and soon the injured man started breathing on his own. The EMT’s arrived shortly and took over.
The kindness and presence of mind shown by Dr. Douglas G. Mann helped save a life. We are grateful for his quick actions and are proud to name him one of this year’s Lifesaving Heroes.
Some say “Goodness is about character, integrity, kindness and moral courage.”
Jeff Handler is a man made of all these things. A personal fitness instructor in Hyannis by profession, Jeff has a natural character of helping people and giving them the confidence to believe in themselves.
It was a usual day at Fitness 500, where Jeff was training his client. Suddenly another client, Dan Martin, collapsed due to an apparent heart attack. Jeff rushed to the unconscious victim and started to help him. A trained EMT, Jeff started administering CPR on Dan with the help of another off-duty paramedic who luckily happened to be there in the gym at that time.
The situation was getting worse for Dan as at first Jeff could feel a faint pulse but after a few minutes he lost the pulse. But Jeff did not give up. He kept on working on Dan with the assistance of the off-duty paramedic until the fire department came and took over.
Technically, Dan was dead when they left for hospital. But on their ride to the hospital, Jeff was determined to revive him. He just could not let the man die in front of him.
Dan was kept on life support and everyone at the gym was told that he wouldn’t make it. A month later, while Jeff was working in the gym, Dan walked in to everyone’s surprise. He went and thanked Jeff for saving his life.
If it were not for Jeff’s determination, Dan might have lost his life. We are grateful for Jeff’s courage and compassion and are proud to name him one of this year’s Life Saving Heroes.
Kristin Von Flatern, a pharmacist by profession, has also become a lifesaver.
Kristin was performing her usual professional duties on a December afternoon when a young man pulled up at the drive-through window, requesting an Epipen. He was suffering the onset of an environmental allergy.
The patient had earlier washed his hands with almond soap, which had triggered the allergic reaction. On his way to the pharmacy, his allergy quickly escalated.
Kristin noticed the young man was having difficulty breathing. She immediately called 911 realizing the severity of his reaction. She then quickly made her way through the drive through window and injected him with an Epipen in his thigh.
By the time the fire department arrived, his allergy was beginning to subside and he was no longer short of breath, although he did complain of the swelling in his throat. His skin condition had improved as well.
To the surprise of the first responders, Kristin simply returned to her duties, making herself available, if needed, allowing them to do their jobs as well as caring for her other regular customers.
Kristin is one of those people who felt she was just doing her job, though she went far beyond her usual duties that day. We are grateful for her act of heroism and are proud to name her one of this year’s Lifesaving Heroes.
Lucy MacDonald would not have imagined in her wildest dreams that she would end up saving someone’s life while on a casual bike ride.
On June 10, 2015 Roseanne O’Meara was out riding her bike on the bike trail headed up and over Route 6 towards Queen Anne Road when she suddenly experienced a cardiac arrest. Her heart stopped and she fell on the ground, hitting her head.
Luckily for Roseanne, another cyclist, not far behind her saw this incident occur and immediately rushed to help. Good Samaritan Lucy MacDonald, upon reaching the victim, realized that she was experiencing cardiac arrest and had suffered a concussion. She immediately called 911. Lucy, a retired critical care nurse, began administrating CPR on the unconscious Roseanne to revive her heart.
Soon after, first responders from the Harwich Fire Department Gagnon, Dutra and Chief Clarke arrived on the scene and took over. Clark and Dutra tried to get a pulse by using a defibrillator while Gagnon cleared the airway. But the situation did not improve. Dutra then started CPR, with MacDonald by his side.
Once inside the ambulance, they again administered the AED on O’Meara. This time they were successful in getting a feeble response and her pulse and breathing returned.
If it was not for Lucy’s quick action and her knowledge about CPR, Roseanne could have been in a much worse condition. Today Roseanne is back on her feet and can’t thank Lucy enough for saving her life.
We are grateful for Lucy’s quick actions and are proud to name Lucy Macdonald as one of this year’s Life Saving heroes.
We have become used to hearing about heart attacks happening to people of a certain age. But it’s a very uncommon and alarming experience when it happens to a six year-old.
A typical school day quickly turned into a life threatening situation when Devin Larkin, a 6 year-old boy, complained of chest pains during the school recess. Center School Elementary nurse Colleen Clark realized something was not right and that the situation was serious.
Devin’s heart raced to well over 250 beats per minute. He was experiencing tachycardia, where the hearts starts beating too quickly. Suddenly Devin’s blood pressure dropped to a point where Colleen couldn’t find a pulse. She immediately called in for the medics.
Firefighter Stephen Gellman and Paramedics Thomas Baker, Jason Healey, Lawrence Machado, Robert Powell, and FF/EMT David McRae responded to the scene and took over. Center School Elementary Principal Ann Weintrob accompanied Devin in the ambulance so he would have a familiar face with him while they started his IV and gave him supplemental oxygen. The responders worked hard to bring back his heartbeat to a normal rate.
Soon after, Devin stabilized and was taken to the hospital. He was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder and had to undergo surgery. His mother Melissa can’t express how grateful and thankful she is to Colleen, Ann and the Easton firefighters and paramedics for saving her son’s life.
We are grateful for the quick and compassionate work of Colleen Clark and Ann Weintrob and the lifesaving efforts of firefighters Gellman, Baker, Healey, Machado, Powell and McRae and are proud to name them one of this year’s Professional Heroes.
Transportation Deputies Courtney Michonski and Daniel Lynch were returning to the Barnstable County Correctional Facility (BCCF) in Bourne last March. It was snowing heavily and very dark when they noticed track prints in the snow. Moments later they came upon a woman walking along and they went to check on her well-being. She had just come from visiting an inmate and she and a friend had become separated after leaving BCCF. The other woman was lost in the woods, so the two Deputies, joined by Deputy Jason Bumpus and Deputy Joseph Virden began searching in earnest. Due to the size of the heavily wooded search area and furious snowfall, Captain David Grenier made the call to have the four deputies dispatched to conduct the search, a decision which was both prudent and possibly life-saving. The woman was located and brought to safety.
For their quick action to help someone in need, in challenging weather conditions we name Captain David Grenier along with Deputies Courtney Michonski, Daniel Lynch, Jason Bumpus and Joseph Virden as this year’s Professional Heroes.
Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon that can be used to change the world.”
Katie Curran, senior at Sturgis Charter School, proved that even at such a young age, one can make a huge difference by having a strong will, perseverance and determination.
Katie was always passionate about social and civic issues. She realized the problem of low voter turnout among young people and decided to engage and educate students in social sciences. She understood the importance of global education and founded Project Next Generation (PNG) in 2013, which aimed to impact the youth both locally and globally. To date she has dedicated over 1700 hours and mentored 200 students through her project. She has received $55,000 in form of research funding, grants and travel from organizations like National Geographic, Hasbro Toys among many others.
Katie aims at revitalizing civic education and to date PNG has managed to have a significant impact on four continents: North America, Asia, Europe and Africa. Philanthropy Partners of Cape Cod named PNG as the “Outstanding Youth Organization of The Year”. She used social media platforms to create a college video series to encourage enrollment in higher education. The series was well received and reached 33,000 viewers.
Katie has emerged as a strong and an influential youth leader globally. She has represented her organization on the International Youth Day at United Nations in New York and Switzerland and has launched a public speaking program for middle school students in India. She has served as a youth ambassador to several countries such as Denmark, the Czech Republic, Sweden and France.
Her organization has exposed the students to the political arena and has broadened their horizon and knowledge. She has involved her students in meaningful exchanges, student council elections and community service projects. She has reported at events with President Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.
With a resume that can put the professionals to shame, Katie is as humble as ever and still serves for the betterment of her community. We appreciate her perseverance and determination and are proud to name her this year’s Youth Hero.
Michael Manoogian, a part time employee at Willy’s Gym, has Down’s syndrome. However, his condition did not keep him from thinking quickly and helping to save a man’s life.
Michael was on his regular rounds of the men’s locker room when he discovered a man face down in the whirlpool. Michael, realizing realized that the man was unresponsive, immediately rushed to the front desk to alert a member of the gym staff. Michael and the staff member quickly rushed to the man’s aid, and pulled his head out of water. He then called 911 for further medical assistance. The Eastham Fire Department was quick to respond and administer medical attention.
The unconscious man suffered from high blood pressure and was on medication for his condition. The hot water in the whirlpool would have been fatal if Michael hadn’t found him just in time. Unfortunately, the man succumbed to his condition a few weeks later but those few weeks were granted to him, thanks to Michael.
Rebecca Goss is a firm believer of being ready to react in the right way. She still remembers that day when she almost lost her husband, but thanks to her quick thinking and knowledge of CPR, she ended up saving him.
One evening Rebecca noticed her husband Jim had slumped on the bed. His eyes were wide open and he was struggling to breathe. 911 was called and then she administered CPR initially with little result. After performing countless rounds Rebecca finally got him to breathe faintly. When the paramedics arrived, they started the IVs and push-meds and used the defibrillator many times to get his heart back to a normal rhythm, enough to get him to hospital in the ambulance.
The doctors and the nurses told Rebecca that had Jim’s brain become devoid of oxygen he would have died and that it was her quick action that saved his life.
Rebecca and Jim have made it their mission to spread awareness about CPR and its importance. They want to educate people on how CPR/AED are simple yet life-saving skills and is a must for everyone.
The pain of losing a child can’t be measured or expressed in words. Denise Brack and her husband Ken had their worst nightmare come true when they lost their son in a drunk-driving accident. Rather than drowning in grief, Denise pledged to support and heal those families and individuals who were in similar situations. Out of tragedy, compassion was born… in the name Hope Floats.
Founded in 2008, Hope Floats is in a beautiful historic house in Kingston surrounded with exquisite grounds and scenic beauty. It provides various support programs and retreats for the benefit of mourning families and others seeking counseling and healing for tragedies they have experienced. The location of this support group provides outdoor retreats, walking meditation and hikes.
Through Hope Floats, Denise and Ken have reached out to many such families and individuals who were in dire need of support of any kind. Today Hope Floats has become a household name among South Shore residents and has involved many local hospitals and military organizations in their noble work.
Under the leadership of Donald Cox, the Otis Civilian Advisory Council (OCAC) has grown and expanded exponentially. OCAC, a volunteer organization believes in “serving those who serve us”. It is a link between military and local agencies of the Cape providing aid, assistance and comfort to men, women and families stationed at Joint Base Cape Cod.
In 2005 Don, along with other OCAC members, formed a non-profit funding source called the Cape Cod Military Support Foundation. Over the years Don expanded the services and financial support notably to the Chaplain’s Fund, Dorothy’s Baby Pantry and enhanced the JBCC Children’s Program. Don, focused on the importance of education, greatly increased the reach of the scholarship program and provided continuing education opportunities for active military through a specialized program called “Seats For Soldiers”. A job training and placement program was also initiated. Don secured $250,000 for the new Memorial Park on Joint Base Cod for the local heroes who have fallen in the line of duty.
Don’s leadership is a source of inspiration to many who give their time, energy and talent towards those who have served us.
Douglas Page, 1st Company Officer at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, is a name synonymous with community service. His selflessness and dedication is reflected in his commitment to organizations like the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Boston’s Children’s Hospital among others. For over 10 years, Lt. Commander Page coordinated volunteer and humanitarian efforts of Mass. Maritime by connecting the enthusiastic cadets with the needs of the community. Lt. Commander Page along with the cadets has partnered with The Department for Children and Families (DCF) bringing joy into lives of many kids and families by organizing the DCF Picnic and DCF Christmas. Lt. Commander Page along with cadets and numerous volunteers try to help the families in need by fulfilling their ‘wish list’ and alleviating their living conditions in whatever manner they can.
Lt. Commander Page also schedules at least one Red Cross blood drive on campus each semester.
The Academy is grateful for his strong leadership and passion for humanitarian causes that is now instilled in the cadets of Mass. Maritime.
Kristen Brock has dedicated her life fighting against domestic violence and sexual assault. Working for the past nine years at A Safe Place, Kristen has been a ray of hope for countless women, men and children in Nantucket.
Kristen, a strong advocate of helping these victims of sexual assault and domestic violence believes that people need to speak out against these crimes if they want to eradicate them from the society.
In 2007, Kristen started the ‘Safe Home’ project, which includes working with children of the Nantucket Boys and Girls club to build a safe home. Through this project she aims to ensure the safety and well-being of every child in Nantucket.
Kristen is a sharp and strong willed woman who not only serves as an incredible advocate but also as a role model for the women she works with, both clients and co-workers. She believes that light can be found in the darkest of times.
Today Nantucket is safer and a happier place for many people because of Kristen Brock.
It was tragic day for the Barros family when Lawrence Barros, a 32 year-old husband and father of two, was killed in a car accident. The accident happened when a pick up truck rammed into the sedan that Lawrence was driving on Route 6 in Sandwich. Lawrence, a devoted husband and father left behind his loving wife, Monica and their two children, Isaac and Elliot.
Prior to his death, Monica and Lawrence had plans to renovate their house, but that dream died when Lawrence did. Monica just couldn’t face doing the improvements alone. That’s when John Norman and Michael Moynihan came to the rescue, along with other volunteers, and took the initiative to renovate the house for the Barros family. The team has been working on Saturdays and Sundays for many months.
For Michael and John, helping the Barros family is a way of healing them and helping them through their tragic times.