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Red Cross Lifesaver Heroes Of The Year

Shannan Yonamine and Billy Newell will be honored as the 2012 Red Cross Lifesaver Heroes of the Year at the Red Cross Heroes Breakfast on October 13, 2012. Hawaii News Now will be recognizing this week as Red Cross Heroes Week; for more information, please go to

Shannan Yonamine became a lifesaver on May 4, 2012. Iolani School teacher Peter Greenhill was playing basketball during a lunchtime student-faculty game, when he suddenly felt light-headed and ill. Peter immediately headed to the infirmary and as he reached the doorway, he collapsed. Lolani Nurse and Director of Health Services Shannan Yonamine observed that Peter was sweaty, grey in color and gasping for breath. She immediately checked for responsiveness, called 911, and started CPR. Shortly after, another parent took over the CPR while Shannan retrieved the AED outside of her office. Shannan prepared the AED and allowed it to assess and administer the shocks to Peter as needed. Shannan continued to administer CPR and monitor the AED until paramedics arrived. EMS reported that Peter started to respond while in the ambulance. Thanks to Shannan’s calm and quick action, Peter’s life was saved.

Billy Newell, a security guard and Navy base police officer, was dining at Kauai’s Pacific Missile Range Facility when he noticed a military officer gesturing for help. A woman was choking on a piece of steak. Billy quickly went to her aid and took charge of the situation. He instructed bystanders to call 911 and started to deliver abdominal thrusts, chest thrusts and back blows to clear the obstruction, but was unsuccessful. Billy advised bystanders to clear the area as he knew the woman would lose consciousness, and he would need an area to lay her down.

Upon losing consciousness, Billy looked for the obstruction and provided rescue breaths to no avail. The woman started turning purple, so Billy began CPR. After the fourth set of CPR, Billy again attempted abdominal thrusts and was able to clear the obstruction. The victim regained consciousness and was placed in the recovery position until the Kauai Fire Department and EMS arrived to assist. Billy’s efforts saved her life.

The Red Cross is a non-profit humanitarian organization which provides assistance to meet the immediate emergency needs of those affected by disasters. All Red Cross assistance to disaster victims is free. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it depends on public contributions to help others. Your gift supports the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross in your community, across the country and around the world. To send a contribution, mail your check to: American Red Cross, Hawaii State Chapter, 4155 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, HI 96816 or make a secure online donation at or call: (808) 739-8109

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at