When faced with a challenge, everyday people often respond by doing extraordinary things to help others. Ten individuals and three organizations in Greater Bangor are being honored as “Real Heroes” by the American Red Cross for going above and beyond in service to others. These Heroes will be recognized for their good works at a Red Cross Heroes breakfast on Wednesday, April 15, at Jeff’s Catering and Convention Center in Brewer.
“This is really about service to others — about selflessly giving to help another person in a time of need,” says John Thomas, Interim Executive Director of the Northern and Eastern Maine Chapter, which includes Aroostook, Penobscot, and Piscataquis Counties. “This award recognizes and thanks these very special individuals for taking action and making a difference.”
For tickets to the American Red Cross Real Heroes Breakfast on April 15, contact John Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 941-2903.
The 2015 recipients in Greater Bangor are:
Disaster Hero Award
Leo Moody, Kingman
Wade Shorey, Greenbush
Moody is credited with saving an infant from drowning by pulling her from a car that was upside-down in two-and-a-half feet of water. Driving home from work, Moody saw that an SUV had slid down an embankment. He called 911 and ran to the vehicle, where he found the 3-month old baby submerged in the water. Using his knife and working in finger-numbing cold, Moody cut the straps that held the unresponsive girl. Shorey, a bystander, joined the rescue effort. He performed CPR, reviving the baby.
Disaster Hero Award
Chief Craig Bowden, Bucksport Fire
Lt. Rod Charette, Maine State Police
Officer Dan Harlan, Bucksport Police
Ronald LaRue (Posthumous)
The four are honored for their attempts to save the life of a five-year-old young boy who had fallen into the Penobscot River while fishing with his grandfather last August. Chief Bowden, Lt. Charette, and Officer Harlan dove into the water and were able to pull the boy out, but sadly, he died at the hospital. LaRue, the boy’s grandfather, had jumped into the water to save him, but also perished during the effort.
Disaster Hero Award
Craig and Kristen Russell, Eddington
While working as the Fire Safety Team at the 2014 Eastern Maine Sportsman Show, the couple learned of a medical issue and rushed to the scene, where they found an unconscious man with no pulse. Springing into action, Craig ran for an AED while Kirsten, a CPR instructor and firefighter, began CPR. The shock from the AED jolted the man back to life as first responders arrived.
Christopher Lavoie - Penobscot County Dispatch
Dispatcher Christopher Lavoie fielded a call from a very frantic female reporting a home invasion. A male suspect, known by the residents, reportedly entered the home, assaulted, and murdered a female victim. Dispatcher Lavoie gave great instructions to the caller in an attempt to save the victim’s life. Dispatcher Lavoie also provided valuable instructions to the people at the residence in order to preserve the scene for investigators, and his techniques on obtaining suspect information proved to be valuable in capturing the suspect.
Randy Eldridge, East Orland
Randy Eldridge volunteers in multiple capacities, from helping victims of fires to teaching Health and Safety classes. He brings passion and dedication to his volunteer role, and always goes above and beyond to ensure clients are taken care of and their needs are met. He’s responded to more than 20 fires in Maine during the past 2 years. In addition to his work here, Eldridge has deployed to help at national disaster responses in Mississippi and Washington State, bringing the same client focus and work ethic.
American Red Cross Blood Service Award
Lisa Morin, University of Maine Volunteer
Lisa Morin, the University of Maine’s Coordinator of the Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism, has been the champion of the University of Maine blood drive program for 5 years. In addition to her hard work and time commitment, Lisa recruits and trains a new student assistant every 3 years. This person is typically a graduate student that Lisa mentors to assist with the program. Since beginning her work with the Red Cross, Lisa has organized over 30 blood drives, which have recruited over 3,000 donors and collected a very impressive 2,852 units of blood. It’s through the hard work, commitment, and dedication of people like Lisa that the Red Cross is able to provide life-saving blood to those in need.
Service to Armed Forces Award
Bangor Troop Greeters
This group of veterans and civilians support our armed forces by greeting troops who arrive at Bangor International Airport. Day or night, rain or shine, Bangor Troop Greeters welcome each troop home and give a proper send off to those heading overseas. They offer free cell phones to call a loved one, a snack to keep them going, and handshakes to let them know we care. Since 2003, the Maine Troop Greeters have greeted more than 7,300 flights carrying 1,480,033 service members and 396 military dogs. Their pledge: as long as there are U.S. armed forces serving overseas, they will be there to greet them.
Extra Mile Award
Brookings-Smith Funeral Home
Brookings-Smith has been a dedicated and integral member of the Greater Bangor and Northern Maine communities since 1874. The organization has provided financial support to the Red Cross for more than a decade, and General Manager Jim Fernald served on Red Cross Board of Directors. The support of companies like Brookings-Smith Funeral Home make it possible for the American Red Cross to fulfill its mission of preventing and alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies.
Honorable Service Certificate
Bangor Region Leadership Institute, Class of 2015
The Bangor Region Leadership Institute is being honored for its efforts to give potential and emerging leaders the skills, knowledge, and on-going support they need to succeed in the greater Bangor community.
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).