Meet the 2013 West Sound Heroes

The West Sound Heroes Breakfast celebrates local people who have made a difference in Kitsap and North Mason counties by performing selfless and extraordinary acts in emergency situations. The actions of these heroes exemplify the humanitarian mission of the Red Cross.

Seth Hanson and Ashton Topness

Youth Heroes: Seth Hanson and Ashton Topness

(Sponsor: Kitsap Sun)

When 6th graders Seth Hanson and Ashton Topness stepped onto the school bus last April, they never expected to take control of the wheel. Bremerton School District bus driver Nadine Charbonneau had a gall bladder attack and the boys were able to maintain calm on the bus until emergency assistance arrived.

While Nadine called in to the district to tell them the trouble, the boys immediately assumed command of the bus. They helped steer the bus to the side of the road to wait for paramedics. Seth and Ashton checked periodically on Nadine to make sure she was okay, relayed information to students at the back of the bus and kept the smaller children calm, quiet and in their seats.

What seemed common sense to Ashton and Seth was something other students might not have been prepared for the emergency. Their actions helped keep the situation under control and guide their bus driver to safety. They are Nadine’s heroes.

Deputy Ruben Castillo

Emergency Response: Deputy Ruben Castillo

(Sponsor: United Moving & Storage)

Mason County Sheriff’s Deputy Ruben Castillo received a call at 6 a.m. last May. A concerned friend of a local resident had called the police and Ruben responded by driving to the residence. When Ruben arrived on scene, the standard checkup became more urgent. A trailer was on fire and Ruben would have to jump into life-saving action.

It took only an instant for Ruben to assess the situation and advise dispatch to send the fire department. After several attempts, Ruben was able to gain entrance into the trailer.

Ruben took a deep breath, ran into the flames, grabbed the woman and ran out of the trailer. Within a matter of minutes, propane tanks on the end of the unit begin exploding and the structure was fully engulfed in flames.

Thanks to Ruben’s quick actions, a life was saved. His calm reaction during an emergency is inspiring. If another incident arises, Ruben and other local emergency responders will be there to assist.

Daryl Matheny

Medical Rescue: Daryl Matheny

(Sponsor: Harrison Medical Center)

Daryl Matheny was at work when he received a call to action not once, but twice. Daryl is the general manager at the Gold Mountain Golf Course and helped to successfully revive two different individuals with an AED.

Daryl said he was working at the golf shop when he got the first call for help. He quickly called 911 and rushed to the downed golfer. When he arrived, CPR was already underway. Daryl hooked up the AED and continued use until paramedics arrived and took control of the situation.

Roughly three weeks later, Daryl was again notified to call 911. A patron had collapsed at the top of a hill near the clubhouse. Daryl grabbed the AED and ran over to the man. The man was later transported to the hospital for further treatment.

Following standard protocol and utilizing the AED, Daryl’s heroic efforts helped save the lives of two men on the green. On two different days, two golfers went down and thankfully, Daryl was there to help stand them up again.

Seattle Military Heroes - Patrick Barrantes, Blake Hite, Binod Gurung & Scott Childress

Military Heroes: Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Patrick Barrantes, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Blake Hite, Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Binod Gurung and Hospitalman Scott Childress

(Sponsor: Kitsap Credit Union)

When four Naval corpsmen arrived at the Olympic Sports and Soccer Center for their regular game, they never imagined they would soon be saving someone’s life. A gentleman out on the field appeared injured, but this was nothing out of the ordinary for a league soccer game. When they saw the man wasn’t getting up, the four men quickly realized this was a more severe situation and he needed assistance.

When they arrived, someone was performing CPR on him. The four men jumped in to offer their support. The men took turns providing CPR until the paramedics arrived on scene to take over.

After EMTs shocked the man with an AED twice, they eventually got a pulse and transported him to Harrison Medical Center for further treatment. Despite their use of CPR, sadly, the gentleman did not survive.

These four men went out of their way to bring safety and provide CPR to a man in distress. They are trained to respond in a crisis and that’s exactly what they did. Hopefully their actions will encourage others to get trained in CPR and have the confidence to respond in an emergency.

Kevin Koski

Commitment to Community: Kevin Koski

(Sponsor: KPS Health Plans)

Mountain rescue operations are a team effort, but five-year veteran Kevin Koski has been involved in more than his fair share. Kevin, who moved to Washington to explore the state’s mountain climbing possibilities, has been on roughly 30 missions since joining Olympic Mountain Rescue. His dedication to emergency response and helping fellow climbers is unparalleled.

Kevin, who said he wants to give back and become a better mountain climber, has helped others move safely through the mountains in their time of need. This year alone, he has been involved in many dangerous rescue incidents, including a search for four lost climbers on Mount Rainier, another along the Quinault River, one in Olympic National Forest and the safe evacuation of a man on Mt. Baker.

Kevin is being recognized for his heroism in the face of danger and commitment to helping others. It takes a certain individual to join a search and rescue team, and Kevin’s responses in times of crises have been crucial. His actions and emergency response have helped save more than one life.

Jeremy Schumacher

Water Rescue: Jeremy Schumacher

(Sponsor: Port Madison Enterprises)

Jeremy Schumacher was sitting at his home near Hood Canal when he received a call of help from a worried neighbor. After the call, Jeremy ran to the beach and saw the two girls. Realizing they were in danger of drowning, Jeremy quickly went into action to help save two girls.

When Jeremy got to the edge of the water, their chances didn’t look good. The paramedics also arrived at the shore, but their rescue boat was several minutes away. Jeremy realized the girls might not have that much time, so he put on diving gear and jumped into the water.

He quickly made his way out to the two girls, took hold of one girl under each arm, flipped onto his back and headed back toward shore. As the water swelled over them, Jeremy and the girls kept kicking until the rescue boat arrived to help bring them to safety. Because of Jeremy’s actions, he saved their lives that day. Jumping in seemed like a natural reaction to him. And because of his actions, he will always be their hero.

Natalie Poss

Call to Action: Natalie Poss

(Sponsor: Puget Sound Energy)

When teacher Natalie Poss arrived at school last February, no one could have predicted the terrible accident which would occur later that afternoon when a 9-year-old boy put his backpack down, accidentally discharging the .45 caliber weapon inside. The bullet exited the backpack and hit Amina Bowman in the abdomen, exiting through her elbow.

Springing into action, Natalie was able to remain calm and told the other students to exit the classroom. She ran over to Amina and applied direct pressure to her abdomen until the paramedics arrived on scene. Natalie rode with her in the ambulance to the nearest hospital, where she was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center. Amina underwent multiple surgeries and several months of recovery for her wounds.

Natalie’s actions helped save Amina’s life by stopping enough of the blood loss from the severe wound.

Natalie said she is thankful to the wonderful staff and administration at Armin Jahr Elementary School. The staff was able to work together to keep the other students calm and safe during the lockdown following the incident. She also commended the emergency response team for doing an outstanding job caring for Amina. Natalie’s big heart and concern for her students helped save Amina’s life that day. Although Natalie said it was a natural reaction to assist, she deserves thanks for saving Amina’s life.