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2017 Heroes

Adult Good Samaritan: David Della Paolera, Hiedi Poulson and Kim Detter

Adult Good Samaritan: David Della Paolera, Hiedi Poulson and Kim Detter

Presented by: Waste Connections

David Della Paolera was driving with his son on Southwest Washington’s Highway 503 when he came upon a fiery car crash. Without hesitating, he stopped his vehicle and jumped out to help the man who was unconscious and trapped inside. Della Paolera pulled the man out of the car just before it exploded. Kim Detter, a former medical assistant who witnessed the crash, and Hiedi Poulson, a combat medic, also came to the man’s rescue. They worked together to treat the man’s life-threatening wounds until medical personnel arrived. Thanks to the quick and brave actions of the three heroes, the car crash victim survived what could have been a fatal collision and subsequent explosion.

View Adult Good Samaritan Hero Video.


Youth Good Samaritan: Brandon Miller

Youth Good Samaritan: Brandon Miller

Presented by: Banner Bank

After picking up supplies to finish his Eagle Scout project (a teeter totter for homeless children living at a local homeless shelter) Brandon Miller, then 16, said he felt compelled to ride in the car with his grandpa as they drove home. Brandon’s grandfather, Jerry, was behind the wheel and the pair was on the highway when Jerry suffered cardiac arrest and lost consciousness.

Miller instantly took control of the vehicle, pulled his grandfather’s foot off the gas pedal and eventually brought the vehicle to a stop on the side of the road. He pulled his grandfather out of the vehicle and onto the ground, and ran to the nearest house to call 911. Miller then returned to his grandfather and performed CPR until an EMS crew arrived.

View Youth Good Samaritan Hero Video.


Military Hero: Rex Donaldson

Military Hero: Rex Donaldson

Presented by: Vancouver Energy and Tesoro

Rex Donaldson, a United States Army veteran, was outside his Vancouver apartment and suddenly noticed the glow of flames in a neighboring apartment building. He and his wife instinctively ran straight towards the flames to assist people stuck in the apartments, which were quickly becoming engulfed in flames. Donaldson helped pull several people from the burning building to safety, including one man who had to jump out a second-story window and into his arms. With Donaldson’s help, firefighters were able to rescue everyone who was in the building and no one was seriously injured.

View Military Hero Video.


Workplace Hero: Chad Worthington and Daniel Salazar

Workplace Hero: Chad Worthington and Daniel Salazar

Presented by: IQ Credit Union

During his overnight work shift at a construction site, Chad Worthington was sitting in the front seat of an attenuator – a vehicle designed to protect road workers from the impact of a crash. He saw out of the corner of his eye a van headed directly for his vehicle and he braced himself for impact. Uninjured but still in shock, Worthington jumped out of the vehicle and ran towards the van, which was now on fire. A woman and a child were still inside the van. Daniel Salazar, who was working at a construction site nearby, heard the crash reported over his radio and rushed to the scene to help. Together, Worthington and Salazar broke the van’s windows and pulled the woman and child to safety before the van became completely engulfed in flames.

View Workplace Hero Video.


Blood Hero: Cody Hermeling

Blood Hero: Cody Hermeling

Presented by: BNSF Railway

In 2010, Cody Hermeling was the victim of a serious car crash that left him with severe head trauma, numerous fractures and a ruptured spleen. After being rescued from his crushed vehicle, Hermeling was rushed to a nearby hospital and given a three percent chance to survive. He had to be revived at least three times and his emergency treatment required 187 units of blood. Wanting to give back to those who helped save his life, Hermeling and his mother, Kathleen, organized a blood drive the following year as a way to give back to the donors who supplied the blood that saved his life. They have held a blood drive every year since and more than 300 pints of blood have been collected as a result of their annual drives.

View Blood Hero Video.


Medical/CPR Rescue Hero: Deputy Sheriff Albin Boyse and DRO Joe Reed

Medical/CPR Rescue Hero: Deputy Sheriff Albin Boyse and DRO Joe Reed

Presented by: The Asivido Team

Columbia River High School Security Officer Joe Reed and Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy Albin Boyse jumped straight into action when they heard over their radios that a student had collapsed in the gymnasium during football practice. Boyse checked the boy for a pulse and realized he didn’t have one. Reed began performing CPR while Boyse directed a person standing by to retrieve a defibrillator. The student’s heart started and stopped beating several times as Reed worked to resuscitate him. The student was transported to the hospital and thanks to Reed and Boyse’s quick action, he made a full recovery.

View Medical/CPR Hero Video.


Professional Rescue Hero: Portland Fire Engine 3 and Truck 3

Professional Rescue Hero: Portland Fire Engine 3 and Truck 3

Presented by: Paul Davis

In late October, Portland Fire and Rescue responded to a reported natural gas leak in a densely populated area of Northwest Portland. Upon arrival, Battalion Chief Jamie Klum realized the seriousness of the situation and called for an evacuation of the building. The fire crew entered the building and knocked on resident doors to ensure everyone had been evacuated. Some crewmembers were not able to move far enough away from the building before it exploded. Portland Fire Lieutenant Peter St. John was thrown from the area by the explosion and sustained serious injuries which required multiple surgeries. Four other first responders and three civilians were also injured in the blast. Klum and his crew are credited with saving the lives of the many people who were in the building by risking their lives to evacuate before it exploded.

View Professional Rescue Hero Video.


Water Rescue Hero: Dan Windon

Water Rescue Hero: Dan Windon

Presented by: Fred Meyer

Dan Windon had dropped his son off at daycare and was driving on a remote country road in Camas, Washington, when he was flagged down by a woman on the side of the road next to a ditch. She pointed to a car that was almost completely submerged in floodwaters, indicating there was a man trapped inside. Windon immediately got out of his truck, grabbed a tow hitch from his vehicle to break the window and rushed into the water to help. The man had been trapped in the car for several minutes and had been holding his breath in the submerged car until Windon was able to break the window and pull him out of the car to safety.

View Water Rescue Hero Video.