A teacher who rescued a choking student, a 95-year-old volunteer, and a pair of football teammates who responded when a friend suffered a seizure are just four of the people who will be honored as American Red Cross Real Heroes on May 12 in Lewiston.
The annual award recognizes everyday people who go above and beyond in service to others. The Lewiston celebration honors those from Central Maine to the Mid Coast.
“These are regular people who have done extraordinary things,” says April Caron, Executive Director of the American Red Cross in Central and Mid Coast Maine. “Their selfless acts truly make them role models for all of us.”
The 2015 American Red Cross Real Heroes are:
CPR Saves Lives Real Heroes Award
Mike Marshall, Oakland, Tasha York, Waterville
York, a nursing student, rushed to the aid of a customer who collapsed at the Silver Street Tavern in Waterville. When York, an employee of the restaurant, was unable to find a pulse on the man, she and co-worker Marshall began CPR. They continued until EMTs arrived to bring the man to the hospital. The man’s family credits the two for saving his life.
Good Samaritan Real Heroes Award
Hannah Pillsbury, Skowhegan
Pillsbury, a nurse and former lifeguard, came to the rescue of a man who was having difficult in the water. Pillsbury was out running when she heard cries for help from the Swinging Bridge in Skowhegan. Upon arrival, she saw the man, drifting toward a dam. Grabbing a life vest from a nearby boat, Pillsbury swam to the man and pulled him to safety.
Public Service Real Heroes Award
Sergeant Eric Lloyd, Officer Benjamin Murtiff, Officer Kyle Sheridan, Augusta Police Department
Sergeant Lloyd, Officer Murtiff, and Officer Sheridan were on-scene at an 18-unit apartment fire in Augusta, and despite the flames and smoke, entered the building to look for people who may have been trapped inside. The trio rescued two people, including a woman who was unable to exit on her own because of limited mobility. They also facilitated warming vehicles for the residents, many who would have been subject to the December cold without adequate clothing or footwear.
Education Real Heroes Award
Brandi Munsey, Richmond
Munsey, a third grade teacher at Montello Elementary School in Lewiston, rescued a student who was choking. When the boy approached her with his hands at his throat, Munsey sent another student for help and began applying abdominal thrusts. After approximately 15 attempts, the thrusts dislodged the item, and the boy was fine.
Blood Real Heroes Award
Gilda Dennis, Auburn
Dennis has been a volunteer in the Red Cross Blood Services for three decades. At 95, she remains active at the Red Cross — and other organizations as well — and actively promotes the Red Cross to her family, friends, and everyone she meets.
Youth Life Savings Real Heroes Award
Devon O’Connor, Elias Younes, Augusta
Cony High School football teammates O’Connor and Younes came to the rescue of a friend who suffered a seizure while swimming. The three were tossing a football, when the 16-year-old friend collapsed and sank to the bottom of the pool. They carefully pulled him from the pool and called 911. The boy’s mother credits O’Connor and Younes with saving her son’s life.
Life Saving Real Heroes Award
James Grant, Industry
Grant, a retiree with Parkinson’s disease, rescued three people from Clearwater Pond — even after his own boat tipped, sending him into the cold water. A former firefighter, Grant was working in his yard when a young man approached him, asking for help. Using his own boat, Grant made three trips to bring the canoeists to shore. While reaching to help, his boat flipped, but he recovered and saved the others.
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. Learn more at MaineRedCross.org, on Twitter (ARC_Maine), or Facebook (American Red Cross of Maine).