CARSON, CA, May 15, 2018 — The Red Cross honored 26 Hometown Heroes at an award ceremony luncheon this past week at the Carson City Community Center. This celebration of ordinary people doing extraordinary things was attended by hundreds of guests who heard tales of heroics and selfless actions from local residents who honored by the Red Cross for advancing the humanitarian mission.
The Hometown Heroes Award recipients were presented with a medal and plaque for their heroic acts by Margaret Arbini-Madonna, Executive Director, and Paul Conrad, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross Greater Long Beach, Rio Hondo and South Bay.
“We celebrate these amazing individuals who demonstrated what courage in a moment of crisis as they stepped forward bravely and acted heroically, ” said Margaret Arbini- Madonna, Executive Director Red Cross of the Greater Long Beach, Rio Hondo and South Bay.
The event brought together Red Cross community partners like Big 5 Sporting Goods, Andeavor, Toyota Auto Body Corp and more. Also in attendance were local elected officials, business leaders, family and friends. Laura Kaplan Nieto, local Emmy winner and former national TV news anchor was emcee.
The 26 individuals honored were:
Joe Flahavan – Joe Flahavan saved 2 1/2 year old Malia deMetropolis from a near drowning using CPR. Joe is a Long Beach Firefighter, but was off duty attending a social function when he found Malia floating face down in the spa. Thanks to his decisive and heroic actions, Malia presented the medal to her own personal superhero.
Oscar Rodriguez - While at work at Carson Park, Oscar Rodriguez saved Victor Perez using the skills he learned at a recent city-provided CPR training with chest compressions and breaths. Only a few months earlier, he saved Victor's daughter after she choked on a potato chip.
Dante Powell - Shortly after midnight, Long beach baseball and softball coach Dante Powell heard the sound of a speeding car crashing into a pickup truck. He immediately rushed over and saved two men who were unresponsive and trapped in their respective cars, lacerating his arms and wrist as he removed glass to clear a path for rescue.
Tori Multiauaopele, Pat Frohn and Hank Cochrane - The heroic threesome Tori, Pat and Hank, came to the rescue of track athlete Javier Venegas, after he collapsed from cardiac arrest during a track meet at Golden West College. Their knowledge of CPR and proper use of an AED saved the young athlete's life and less than a month later Javier returned to school.
Greg Dahlmeier and Captain Keith Mora - Off-duty Los Angeles County Firefighter Specialist/Investigator, Greg Dahlmeier and Captain Keith Mora helped to rescue a family of three after a multi-car traffic collision in Seal Beach. While the father and his 13 -year-old daughter survived, his seven year old daughter did not.
Kim Huynh - Kim worked her way out of the LA Projects to having an incredible military career including being a captain in the Marine Corps from 2007 to 2017. During that decade, Kim held a variety of roles stationed throughout the nation and the world including: Combat Engineer Platoon Commander, Series Commander for the 4th Recruit Training Battalion and Engineer Officer within a Logistics Team. Now, she is a student at Orange Coast College and is planning to go to medical school.
Corrie Allison – One May afternoon, Corrie Allison and her kids were swimming at the indoor pool at the airport Marriott Hotel in Long Beach. As they were leaving, a mother started screaming for her 7 year old son who was under water. Corrie immediately knew what to do and saved this child from a near drowning experience through her quick actions and CPR until the paramedics took over.
Scott Moore, Hector Ramos, Dan Northrup, Robert “Robb” Gorr, Laurie Hutton and Lisa Kephart – In early September, at the Kiwanis Club Volleyball Fundraiser in Long Beach, one player collapsed. A fast-acting team effort with Dan and Scott assisting, Hector and Robb alternated chest compressions, Lisa gave mouth to mouth and Laurie did continuous assessments saved this man’s life. Ten minutes later, the paramedics arrived, administered shocks and transported the collapsed player to the Long Beach Memorial Hospital where he recovered.
Carlton “Mac” McMiller and Jeremy Garcia – On May 15th, a golfer at the Ironwood Gold Course in Cerritos collapsed. When staff arrived at the scene, employee Jeremy Garcia had already begun administering CPR. Another golfer Carlton McMiller noticed the scene, and immediately stepped in to help with compressions, while Jeremy prepared the AED to deliver several shocks to the unconscious golfer.
John Meffert – While off-duty one June evening, John Meffert saw a small twin-engine plane crash and land on the 405 right in front of his vehicle. Without hesitation, John ran into the burning wreckage and pulled out the passenger and injured pilot. Both are expected to make a full recovery.
Angel Aquino, Raylene Armour, Nick Rodriguez, Jason Gallo and Cynthia Navarette – On June 5th, 2017, at the Cerritos Senior Center, a man collapsed and Angel immediately yelled to call 911 and started chest compressions. Staff members Raylene called 911, Nick Rodriguez grabbed the AED, Jason gathered information about the man who collapsed and Cynthia, who recently received her bi-annual Red Cross training applied the initial shock from the AED. Paramedic arrived and took over the scene. Angel’s quick actions and the staff’s excellent training saved the man’s life.
Paul and Jamie Lynn Gallegos - Paul and Jamie Gallegos were present during the Las Vegas Strip massacre back on October 1, 2017. When the shooting began, the two made it to their truck unscathed; however they were separated from their three adult sons in the chaos. As they drove away as quickly as possible, they were stopped by security and asked to take an injured woman with them. They stopped a couple more times, taking as many victims as they could. Eventually they made it to safety and were able to get the victims to treatment. Consequently, the couple saved several lives and three of the survivors were on the stage with them to present them with their medals.
To learn more about the American Red Cross and all the services provided, visit redcrossla.org.
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 redcrossla.org or cruzrojaLA.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossLA.