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2017 CNMO Honorees

  • Eastern Missouri - CNMO Heroes Honorees
CNMO Heroes Honorees

Law Enforcement Hero: Sergeant Dave Echternacht

Assigned to the 2016 Shoot Out Boat Race at the Lake of the Ozarks last August, Sergeant Dave Echternacht was stationed in the middle of the course with medical personnel. During the race, the Sergeant received word that a driver had lost control of his boat. Traveling at 109 miles an hour, the out-of-control boat approached the responders. As they watched, the craft became airborne and slammed back down on the water. The driver was thrown into the lake.

As the water and debris settled, Sergeant Echternacht saw the boat driver floating face down in the water. The Sergeant acted immediately. He took his boat towards the motionless man. Leaving his patrol vessel, the officer swam to the unconscious man, shifted him onto his back and opened his airway. The crash victim began to respond. He coughed, regained some consciousness and heaved excess water. Very quickly, assistance came to transport the survivor to the hospital. Today, the boater has completely recovered and is working to repair his boat, so he can race again.

The outcome of this event would have been very different if it weren’t for Sergeant Echternacht’s quick actions. Because of his exceptional emergency response and his commitment to safety, Sergeant Echternacht is the 2017 Red Cross Law Enforcement Hero.

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CNMO Heroes Honorees

Good Samaritan Adult Heroes: Jacob Ellis and Adam Brunk

Jacob Ellis was driving home one Sunday morning when he saw a head-on collision. Without hesitation, he pulled over to offer assistance. Adam Brunk saw the same accident and also stopped to help. A fire ignited as the two approached the vehicles. They raced to the burning truck. Adam tried to open the driver’s side door but couldn’t; there was too much damage. The door wouldn’t move. The agitated driver was concerned about his wife who he believed was having a heart attack. Jacob, with a broken hand, and Adam, with a sprained ankle, worked together to get the passenger to safety. Situating the woman safely across the street, the two men went back to help the driver. By this time, flames were coming through the floor boards and over the windows. Not concerned with their safety, together the two grabbed the driver under his arms, pulled, shifted and pushed until they freed him. Only seconds after the men dragged the driver to safety next to his wife, flames consumed the truck. Imagine if the two had not pulled over: The outcome of this accident would have been tragically different.

For their compassion, courage and persistence, Jacob Ellis and Adam Brunk are the Red Cross 2017 Good Samaritan Heroes.

Sponsored by Central Bank, Central Bank of Boone County and Jefferson Bank

CNMO Heroes Honorees

Emergency Medical Assistance Heroes: Ed Savage and Crew

On a rainy night in Jefferson City, a young woman was driving home, unaware the recent storms had created flash flooding along her route. As the young driver continued down the road through storm, she attempted to drive through what she thought was a puddle. Her car started to spin and quickly began to fill with water. When the car engine died, she knew she had to act. The young woman kicked open the door to escape. Unfortunately, her cell phone was soaked; there was no way to call for help. As the fast moving water dragged her away, pulling her under every couple of seconds, she was able to grab a tree that she could climb. Scared, tired and helpless, she held on for her life.

The young woman had no way to know that a bystander saw the spinning car, and called Ed Savage. Using a spotlight, Mr. Savage found her in a mass of trees and immediately called for a fishing boat. Very quickly, Mr. Savage and his crew brought the driver to safety. The team stayed with her until her parents arrived to take her home.

Mr. Savage and his crew reacted quickly. Without them, the outcome of this dangerous moment could have been tragic. For their heroic actions, Ed Savage and his crew are awarded the 2017 Red Cross Emergency Medical Hero Award.

Sponsored by Osage Ambulances

CNMO Heroes Honorees

Community Impact Award Central Missouri Honor Flight

This year’s Community Impact Hero Award goes to Central Missouri Honor Flight, a volunteer organization that provides free airline flights to Washington, DC for war veterans to visit the memorials dedicated to their service and sacrifice. The organization has flown an incredible 44 missions and transported 2,824 World War II, Korean and Vietnam war veterans. Thousands of people from the area volunteer to make these trips possible. Some volunteers fundraise; others process applications or roster flights, still others help with day-to-day operations. Volunteers even have created a virtual Honor Tour for veterans who cannot travel.

For their service to the countless veterans in central Missouri, they are awarded the 2017 Red Cross Community Impact Hero Award.

Sponsored by Vogel Insurance Group

CNMO Heroes Honorees

Good Samaritan Youth: DaMia Day

A dancer blessed with a beautiful voice and the ay shares her talents to bring others joy. DaMia volunteers at daycares to help orchestrate children with Bholiday programs. She uses her talents to entertain ible stories at the House of Refuge Church nursery. She also sings and dances for patients at St. Mary’s Hospital, where her mother works in food services. DaMia is the only visitor some of the St. Mary’s patients see. As she performs, visits and listens, DaMia generously gives her greatest gift, her abundant talent.

For her generosity and kindness, DaMia Day is the 2017 Red Cross Good Samaritan Youth Hero.

Sponsored by Prison Brews and JC Kiwanis Club

CNMO Heroes Honorees

Military Hero: Sergeant First Class Matthew Lewellen

Matthew Lewellen always felt a duty to serve his country. He had wanted to be a solider since he was in the third grade. At 21, he joined the U. S. Army and quickly ascended military ranks. In less than six years, he enrolled in the Infantry, attended the Airborne School and graduated from Special Forces training. He was assigned to 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Kentucky. A natural leader, the Green Beret deployed three times supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and other missions in Afghanistan. As part of a U.S. led campaign fighting the Islamic State, the Kirksville native was on his second deployment in Jordan when he came under lethal fire. Tragically SFC Lewellen was killed Nov. 4, 2016. Friends and loved ones from around the world felt the tremendous loss. He was dearly loved by his family and greatly admired by many friends on multiple continents.

Highly decorated, SFC Lewellen’s awards include the Bronze Star, the Army commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal (2nd Award), the NATO Service Medal; the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. He also received the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and various other recognitions and honors.

SFC Lewellen was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster). To his long list of awards and honors, this inspirational leader is also the Red Cross 2017 Military Hero.

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CNMO Heroes Honorees

Firefighter Hero: Klif Bullard

On a beautiful September afternoon in 2016, a young woman was hiking on he spectacula Devil’s Backbone in Boone County. While enjoying t r views, she lost her balance and fell 30 feet down a cliff. She suffered brain trauma.

Klif Bullard, of Southern Boone County Fire Protection District, responded to the emergency call and led the rescue effort. With aid from other agencies, under Klif’s leadership, the team accomplished a steep angle rescue to safely lift the young hiker up the cliff. An emergency medical team immediately transported her to the hospital. Today, she has recovered fully from her injuries.

For his leadership and courage, Klif Bullard is the 2017 Red Cross Firefighter Hero.

Sponsored by Dollar General

CNMO Heroes Honorees

Dr. Charles Drew Blood Services Hero: Thomas Ward

In his life, Thomas Ward has donated more than 20 gallons of blood to the American Red Cross. He began donating in the 1970s and since then has donated more than 160 pints. Because each unit can save up to three lives, Mr. Ward potentially has saved 480 lives! As remarkable as his donations have been, he continues to find new ways to help those in dire need. He recently started giving blood platelets. He says it's something he can do, and will do, as long as he is able. It gives him a great feeling to help others who need platelets so desperately.

Thomas Ward's dedication to saving lives is truly honorable, which is why he is the Red Cross Dr. Charles Drew Blood Services Hero of 2017.

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CNMO Heroes Honorees

Healthcare Professional Heroes: Dr. Venkataraman Ramachandran

Dr. Abdullah Dalabih and the University of Missouri Hospital PICU Staff Sponsored by River City Florist

At the age of 6, Maya was run over by a car. She suffered serious injuries to her heart, lungs, kidneys and esophagus. The young patient was in the pediatric intensive care unit for more than two months. With a very bleak prognosis, the young girl was not expected to fully recover and return to a normal life. This was a heart-breaking challenge for the Missouri University Hospital staff, but they were determined to help the child any way they could. The staff continued to work with her, encourage her and push her. They watched Maya improve little by little. With prodding, patience and a lot of care, Maya slowly recovered. She has exceeded all medical expectations.

Today Maya is a thriving and happy young girl, all thanks to the steadfast determination -- and skill -- of the Missouri University Hospital staff. Maya is now running, playing and in school full time! No one could have predicted such a bright outcome. That is why Dr. Venkataraman Ramachandran, Dr. Abdullah Dalabih and the University of Missouri Hospital PICU Staff are the 2017 Red Cross Healthcare Professionals Hero Award winners.

Sponsored by River City Florist