It was 2:30 a.m. Christmas Eve and 15 year old William Melton Jr. was playing video games while the rest of his family slept. Suddenly, the surge protector at his feet became red hot, blew up and seared the wooden floor. William yelled “Mom get up, something is wrong with the house“. Smoke was spewing profusely and light bulbs were exploding. Amazingly calm, William called 911 and directed his sister to gather their four pets, put them in the car and stay put. His mother screamed to wake up Bill Sr., who is a deep sleeper. Bill struggled to consciousness and headed for the circuit breaker to turn off the power. Everyone had dashed out of the house before the fire department arrived. Later, William’s dad asked him if he realized he had saved the family, the pets and the house from burning down; no it had not sunk in. Thank you William!
Anne McEnerny-Ogle was driving one of three support vehicles for Boy Scouts of America Troop 525’s bike trip at 7100‘ near the rim of Crater Lake when she noticed one of the adult riders was falling behind. The woman later vomited and became unresponsive. Using her first aid skills, Anne was able to determine that her friend was having a heart attack. Swiftly, the woman was put in the car and rushed to the Ranger Station where emergency help was requested. While at the station, Anne’s friend Gloria lost consciousness in the back seat and slumped over. In order to do CPR, Anne hoisted her friend under the shoulders and pulled her out onto the pavement to assess her condition and start CPR. Anne and her husband continued CPR until the paramedics arrived about 15 minutes later. Gloria was airlifted to Rouge Valley Hospital and survived. Thank you Anne!
John Clark, 17, was flying kites while vacationing with his family at Rockaway Beach, OR when he heard screaming. He quickly scanned the area and saw a boy about age 12 thrashing in the ocean. John, who had just completed his life guard certification, ran into the water and swam out to the boy to tow him back as he had been trained. Upon reaching him, John discovered that the current was too strong for him to swim against it. John comforted the boy, instructed him how to breathe and promised to hold onto him until help arrived. The waves crashed against them continually, pushing them under the surf. They responded by pushing off the sand and springing back to the surface. About 20 minutes later, help arrived and pulled them back safe and sound onto the sand. Thank you John!
Annalee Hoffman-Shives, RN was returning home from a long day at work. On an off-ramp into rural Kelso, she spotted a motorcycle lying suspiciously in the road. She pulled over, walked toward the motorcyclist in the grass and found him gasping for breath and unresponsive. She took off his helmet and asked the people who arrived right behind her to call 911. Annalee took control of the scene for 15 minutes. With her official RN name badge still attached, she directed one volunteer how to help with chest compressions and others to direct traffic. She focused on keeping his airway open and monitored his pulse until emergency help arrived. Annalee later said, “I felt like I was still on the job with the office in the grass!” Thank you Annalee!
Michelle Rushing was wrapping up an annual family reunion, near Gaston OR, when she heard screams down the hill at the swift-moving Sain creek. A large family of eight children, ages 6-13, two mothers and a teenager - none related to Michelle - had been wading and splashing when, in a short period of time, the entire family dropped off an invisible ledge into the muddy stream. Two girls immediately sank to the bottom. Michelle and other family members ran from different locations to help. Michelle immediately coordinated the frenzied rescue effort and entered the water. She immediately stepped on one of the girls stuck in the mud. Her family formed a human chain. When each victim was found, they were dragged from one rescuer to the next. Gaston OR Fire Chief Roger Mesenbrink said, “I have been through every kind of rescue scenario you can probably dream of yet never have I seen this sort of outcome. A trained team could not have done better.” Thank you Michelle!
Shadow, a one year old male black lab, was waiting to be adopted from the South Pacific County Humane Society when Sheila, a Catahoula dog, was on the operating table at Oceanside Animal Clinic. Sheila was having exploratory surgery when the veterinarian found her abdominal cavity filled with blood because her spleen had burst. A blood transfusion was needed yet no animal blood is stored in Pacific County. Time was of the essence to save Sheila. A staff member of the clinic contacted the Humane Society Shelter, located one mile away, to find a donor who met their requirements – a healthy dog weighing 50 lbs. or more, free from disease and that had not donated blood in the last three weeks. Shadow, a “rambunctious” black lab, was the perfect candidate. Within 45 minutes of the crisis, Sheila’s procedure was complete and a groggy Shadow was back at the shelter. Thank you Shadow for giving the gift of life!
Nathan Cook, an off-duty firefighter and EMT, was at home with his family when he heard gun shots outside. Without regard for his own safety, he ran outside toward the screaming down the street. A young neighbor who had been shot multiple times at close range was lying on the sidewalk with his hysterical sister standing over him. Nathan began to provide Basic Life Support while scanning his surroundings for the shooter. Nathan struggled with the victim, telling him he must lie still so his injuries could be assessed. Of the seven bullet holes, two could have hit the spine, and two were so grave that had Nathan not provided the necessary first aid, the victim would have bled out. Police arrived on the scene and protected Nathan, then authorized Nathan’s own Fire Department to approach the scene and transport the patient. Thank you Nathan!