Sergeant Randon Walker and Deputy Brett Anderson were dispatched to an injury accident, involving a motorcycle colliding with a vehicle. The motorcyclist hit the vehicle at a high rate of speed on a blind curve in rural Clark County. When Randon arrived he found the motorcycle rider behind the vehicle, ashen faced and breathing poorly. He was unable to find a pulse and began CPR. Brett arrived seconds later with an AED (automated external defibrillator). He attached the pads to the survivor’s chest but the device stated a shock was not needed. AMR seamlessly took over while arranging for Life Flight transport to a hospital. Thank you Randon and Brett!
Hunter Nelson, 17, and friend Danny Riat went hiking near Archer Mountain in rural Skamania County. The boys decided to ascend imposing cliffs to the top using a different path than before. Suddenly, Riat was stuck on a tiny ledge above Hunter, unable to move. The ledge gave way and Danny slid, hit the ground 50 feet below and rolled into a tree trunk. Hunter hurriedly climbed down to find Danny unconscious but still breathing. For more than 5 hours Hunter gave him water, kept him immobilized and as warm as possible keeping him from going into shock. He repeatedly called the rescuers searching in the dark. Hunter’s unshakeable calm and knowledge of survival skills helped keep his friend alive until emergency responders could reach him. Thank you Hunter!
Water rescue trained volunteers Doug Knutzen and Eddie Mendez were notified through a 911 dispatch that a 12 year old boy was under the surf in Long Beach, Pacific County. Nicole Kissel, also 12, tried to help Dale Ostrander after he was swept off his board. She quickly paddled toward him grabbed him while he climbed back onto his board. Paddling ferociously toward shore, another wave knocked the pair off their boards pulling Dale underwater and farther out of her reach. Nicole was able to get back to shore safely. Doug and Eddie arrived with their gear and a water craft to swiftly get into the surf. Soon they saw Dale’s lifeless body two feet below the surface. By then, the riptide had kept Dale underwater for at least 15 minutes. Eddie dove into the water to retrieve Dale. Doug pulled Dale onto the water craft and jetted to shore. Doug carried his lifeless body to a paramedic who was ready to administer CPR and First Aid. Many other trained responders continued to keep Dale alive, until and after, he was Life Flighted to a hospital. Miraculously, Dale survived and is working his way back from death’s door. Thank you Doug and Eddie!
James Bray was awake at 2:00 am, when a vehicle struck a power pole at high velocity across the street from his home in Vancouver. James ran outside to see the vehicle burning with the driver trapped inside. James could not open the door. The survivor was yelling because he knew he was trapped in an inferno. James used a knife he keeps on a key chain to slice through the driver’s seat belt, and with the help of two passersby, pulled the driver out of the car window. According to Capt Bob Carroll, “He saved the driver from burning up”. Thank you James!
Heather Stackhouse was working for Hockinson High School as a Para Educator in Leslie Ruby’s classroom. While she was eating lunch, Leslie choked on a piece of vegetable. She was unable to dislodge it herself in the bathroom and urgently exited into the classroom unable to cough, breathe or speak. Knowing she only had seconds to respond, Heather rapidly moved toward her and immediately used abdominal thrusts until the object flew out. Heather was the only adult nearby. Without Heather, Leslie would have had a much different, and horrible, outcome. Thank you Heather!
In September, Goldendale suffered a major wildfire, creating massive evacuations of not only people but animals. Although the Red Cross had a shelter set-up at the fairgrounds for humans, there was no place to shelter the countless homeless animals nor was there a plan how to evacuate animals from ranches and farms threatened by the rapidly spreading wildfire. Animal lover Melody Bazzel volunteered to take on this overwhelming responsibility. Immediately, Melody secured a safe place at the fairgrounds for the animals in barns and fenced areas. For eight days and nights Melody coordinated evacuations, obtained donated food for each breed and kept track of their owners all the while ensuring each animal was fed and watered daily. At one time Melody had over 300 animals in her care. Examples are: horses, lamas, alpacas, turkeys, chickens, ducks, goats, rabbits, and sheep. Animals would have perished without Melody’s unique skills and unwavering passion for animals. Thank you Melody!
Early one morning, Waste Connections employee Brian Croft was driving his garbage truck in a residential area when he noticed something odd on the sidewalk: two ladies distraught and staring across the street, one of them holding a kitchen fire extinguisher. Brian hurriedly parked and ran to the ladies where the home owner said a grease fire had started in her kitchen. He quickly retrieved the commercial fire extinguisher off his truck and cautiously entered the house. Inside, flames were licking up the wall above the stove. He kept yelling for everyone to get out while extinguishing the flames. The residents were so lucky that Brian jumped into the fray, as several family members were upstairs with no clue about what was happening downstairs. Thank you Brian!