An individual who supports a specific need to the community through their personal efforts to help others.
Recipient: Sandy Crandell
SALT LAKE CITY — After a prolonged stay at the hospital, most people would likely rather not return to its sterile halls anytime soon. But that wasn’t the case for Sandy Crandell, a cancer survivor who volunteers in the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinic at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. In 2015, she had stroke-like symptoms, and doctors diagnosed her with stage 4 intravascular lymphoma, a rare form of cancer that affects the brain. Crandell, then 47, underwent treatment, eventually staying for 69 days in the clinic before she was cancer-free in September of the same year.
She needed to wait until she was cancer-free for one year, and then she was able to volunteer in the place where she’d been cured. Stocking nurses’ carts and rooms with supplies, and filling bags with items patients will need during their stay are just some of the tasks Crandell does when she comes in once a week for four or five hours.
The cancer survivor said her favorite part of the job is talking with the patients to see how they’re doing and to see how far they have come in their treatment and recovery. “It’s nice to get to know them, but it’s also nice to get to see them go home,” she said.
Her ability to connect with people through shared experiences carried over to her volunteer work in the Huntsman Cancer Institute. She can relate to the patients, and they are often able to open up to her. Holmes believes the people, including staff, doctors and volunteers, are among the best aspects of the Huntsman Cancer Institute. “You get not just your health taken care of, but you take care of the patient as a person, too,” he said.
Family Hero A family member who did something significant to help a fellow family member or impacted families in the community.
Recipient: Josslyn Millam
MIDVALE, Utah – A man who carjacked a vehicle at a Midvale gas station Sunday probably didn’t know two kids were in the backseat, and one of them put up a big fight. Surveillance video shows a man in a white shirt walking to the Phillips 66 gas station at 335 West 7200 South. He then hops in the white car and drives off.
When the driver realized two children were in the car, he abandoned it a few blocks away and fled on foot. 13-year-old Josslyn Milliam was one of the kids. “My mom asked me to feed my baby sister because she was hungry and the guy just got in the car and started driving away,” she said. When she realized the man was stealing the car, Josslyn sprang into action. “I was hitting him as hard as I could,” the young girl said. “I was hitting him in the side of head, the neck and in the face.”
Back at the gas station, a massive search began as Josslyn’s mother waited and worried. “The car was at the gas station at the gas pump and he came from across the street,” Sgt. Melody Gray with the Unified Police Department said. “So he may have been watching and saw the adult go inside the store.” While police searched, Josslyn tried cutting a deal with the car thief.
“I told him I didn`t care if he kept me, just take my baby sister back to him, my mom I mean.”
Josslyn, her baby sister and her parents were safely reunited just minutes after the carjacking.
“It hasn`t hit me yet what happened,” Josslyn said. “I`m probably going to be sitting at home and I`m just going to be like whoa -- okay great.”
Gift of Life Someone who created awareness of the importance of blood donations in the community by donating blood personally, inspiring others to give or has been part of scientific advancement to the biomedical community.
Recipient: Gary Norton
January 5, 2018 was a big day for Gary Norton. It was the day the 81-year-old Provo man will be able to add his 22nd gallon pin to the shadow box containing the markers of his blood donation feats.
“Some people have trophies for their basketball or sporting events or musicals,” Norton said. “This is my trophy case.” The box includes a complete collection of the Holiday Heroes pins that used to be given out by the American Red Cross to individuals who donated blood a week before or after a holiday. It took Norton five years to time everything right in order to complete his pin collection.
Norton estimates he’s been regularly donating blood for 50 years. His lifetime donations, as of Jan. 5, will total 176 pints of blood, according to the American Red Cross. That much blood has the potential of helping 528 people. He started giving blood because he saw it as an opportunity to serve. “It is so neat because we have it in our veins,” Norton said. “It just takes an hour or less and you can help save somebody’s life.”
Norton, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has served in church positions to host blood donation drives at the stake and ward levels. He also has an assignment at the Provo Temple and was a service missionary in Salt Lake City.
He’s never needed a blood transfusion himself, but has family members who have needed one. After he makes every donation, he returns home and has his wife put the next date he can donate again on his calendar. He’s also shortened the time it takes to draw his donation. While it usually takes eight to 10 minutes to draw the blood, according to the American Red Cross, Norton can do it in under four minutes.
He retired from his position as the national sales manager at Norbest in 2000 and later began working as a cashier at his brother’s oil change business. He still works one day a week cashing people out at Lube Doc in Orem in a job he describes as cold in the winter and hot in the summer, all because he enjoys being out and talking to people.
Whenever he’ll see people come into the shop who have donated blood, he’ll thank them and remind them that if they regularly donate starting now, their lifetime donations can top his. He has no plans of stopping his bimonthly donations anytime soon. “The only thing that will stop me is death or health reasons,” Norton said.
Global Citizenship An individual, group or company who has volunteered or worked to meet the needs of the world’s potentially vulnerable populations by building safer, more resilient communities and providing needed relief.
Recipient: Samira Harnish
SALT LAKE CITY — There are nearly 60,000 refugees currently living in Utah trying to make a new life in a land they don’t know. Many of them are escaping unspeakable pasts and hoping for a brighter future.
One Utah woman has devoted her life to helping them and she is now receiving worldwide recognition for her efforts. Samira Harnish is specifically helping refugee women. About half of the refugees in Utah are women and young girls, who oftentimes are looking for work outside the home for the first time in their lives. At the Salt Lake City headquarters for Women of the World, space on the walls is running out. “They’ve been treated really badly,” Harnish said. “We’re talking war, oppression, poverty, rape and mutilation.”
Harnish began in life in Utah in 1979 as a refugee. She left Iraq and came to Utah where she received an education and went on to have a successful career in engineering; a career she chose to walk away from.
She’s helped nearly a thousand refugee women learn English, apply to school, gain employment, and most importantly: find somewhere they feel safe.
On Oct. 1, in Geneva, Switzerland, Harnish was among four other women in the entire world who received an honor for their work with refugees. Harnish will be the only one from the United States. Though she’s honored to receive the recognition, Harnish says the thing that brings her the most happiness can’t hang on the wall.
Good Samaritan An adult who uses their knowledge in prevention, preparedness, safety, or identifies a specific community need to help others, save a life, prevent an injury, or respond to an emergency.
Recipient: Francis Rendon
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) announced Tuesday it will honor a FrontRunner train operator who saved the life of a boy with autism. Francis Rendon, using both experience and intuition, located a shivering, eight-year-old autistic boy underneath his train one night, recognized that he had a disability, and safely returned the child to his mother and police.
Rendon was operating the train and was approaching Layton Station heading northbound. He saw the figure of a young trespasser running toward the track his train was on, so he sounded the horn and stopped the locomotive. After bringing the engine to a stop, Rendon said he saw the small figure disappear into the darkness near the train. Rendon received authorization from the FrontRunner control room and exited the cabin to search for the young trespasser.
Rendon saw no sign of the child and decided it was safe for him to pull the train to the station. However, he said he had a feeling that stopped him from moving the locomotive any further. “I just needed to be sure before I moved the train,” he said.
Rendon, being an experienced conductor, checked one last place before he got back into the cabin. There, he saw a small boy, looking frightened and cold. Rendon guessed the boy might have had a disability, so he gently coaxed him from under the train. “I just asked him, buddy…you look cold,” Rendon said. “You want to get on a warm train?” Rendon picked the boy up and put him safely on board the train. He pulled up to the station, where the boy’s mother was waiting with Layton police.
“My son is autistic and has a hard time communicating,” Ashley Kofford, the boy’s mother, said. ““When he’s bored he tends to wander. I noticed the house had gotten quiet so I went looking for him and couldn’t find him. I went into the backyard and noticed FrontRunner had stopped. It doesn’t usually stop outside my house so I called 911.”
“That guy (Rendon) saved my life,” said Kofford. “My son is my life. If something had happened to him I wouldn’t have been able to survive it.” As for Rendon, he didn’t feel like he did anything too special. “I really don’t feel like I’m special, Rendon said. “This my job and my job includes getting out of that train and double checking to make sure.”
Law Enforcement A law enforcement agent(s) whose lifesaving action went above and beyond the call of duty.
Recipients: Officers Robert Jackson, Lacy Turner, Cade Bradshaw and Sgt. Shawn McKinnon
KAYSVILLE — Four officers had burn injuries after they tried to help a man who lit himself on fire at a Kaysville gas station, officials confirmed Thursday afternoon. Four Kaysville police officers obtained burn injuries during the incident, which took place at a Chevron station near 200 N. 300 West, according to Davis County sheriff’s detective Ty Berger.
The officers responded to the scene at about 2 p.m., according to an emailed statement from Kaysville police. An adult man who was suicidal went into the gas station, doused himself in gasoline and lit himself on fire, police said.
The officers jumped in to try to save the man and were burned in the process. They tried to restrain the man and take a lighter that was in his hand, but he lit the gasoline with the lighter, injuring himself and the four officers, police said.
All four officers and the man who doused himself in gas were taken to area hospitals, with some taken to the University of Utah Burn Center via a medical helicopter, and some taken to a Davis County hospital in an ambulance, officials said.
“Employees heard screaming and smelled gas,” DeRobaum said. Oberg said the situation was “heartbreaking.”
“It’s very emotional for me to hear and see,” Oberg said. “At the same time, I feel a lot of pride in the fact that these officers, without hesitation, responded to an emergency to save not only this suicidal person but a lot of other people in what could have been literally an explosive situation.”
Medical Profession Presented to a doctor, nurse or EMT whose lifesaving actions went above and beyond the call of duty.
Recipients: Chris & Keith Judd
SANTAQUIN, Utah — A man was nearly crushed to death after a car collapsed on him Wednesday afternoon, but thankfully an off-duty EMT was at the right place with the right tools to save his life. n ordinary afternoon at an auto shop in Santaquin took a turn when Chris Judd got an alert on her phone that a man was trapped under a car. And even though she wasn’t the on-call EMT, she couldn’t help but notice the address listed was right across the street from her. Without hesitation, she called out to her husband. “I just told Keith ‘There’s a car on the guy across the street, grab the jack, let’s go,’” Chris recalled. As they were crossing the street they could see the white car parked in the driveway.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect as we were heading over there, I didn’t know how bad it was going to be,” Keith said. “Two separate jacks to lift the car in a precarious situation, it was on a slope, there was a whole lot of ways that could have gone a lot worse a lot quickly,” Keith said. “I just moved around to the first spot I could get in past him and put the jack under and get the car up,” Keith said. “I was just asking him if he could breathe and stuff like that, just mostly to tell he was talking cause if he’s talking he’s getting air,” Chris said. “As soon as it got off his chest he tried to scoot out, I tried to get him to calm down a minute, ‘You’re gonna be OK,’“ Chris said.
The right place, the right time and the right tools. “We had what we needed to get the car off of him when I knew the ambulance really wouldn’t,” Chris said. And after a heroic afternoon it’s back to work for the Judds. The man who was rescued is now home. Chris says she does not feel like a hero but that days like today just come with the job of being a volunteer EMT.
Medical Rescue An individual while off duty who expended significant personal efforts to help others or while on duty went above and beyond his call to respond.
Recipient: Matt Stein
A milestone reached by few. Certified helicopter pilot Matt Steins has flown around the world. Originally an aviation officer for the military Stein decided to “give civilian life a try” and began working as an emergency medical pilot 1992. Stein ended 2017 with an accomplishment few pilots in the industry reach: He logged his 3,000th rescue flight.
Tony Henderson, chief executive officer of Classic Aviation, said only about 10 percent of EMS pilots complete more than 3,000 patient rescue missions.
Due to the nature of the region, Stein said people commonly need to be rescued from places that are difficult to reach, such as deep crevices or isolated canyons. He said he remembers a particularly difficult mission where a woman broke her leg while hiking in Ticaboo Canyon. While waiting for help, she lost consciousness next to a fire and was severely burned. The incident happened in the winter during a severe snowstorm, Stein said, but he was able to eventually reach the woman and fly her to Salt Lake City for treatment. She survived. “There was no way anyone else was going to reach her,” he said.
While Stein has always had a love for flying, he said his favorite part of the job is getting the chance to help people get through small tragedies. He said he is grateful for and humbled by the opportunity to “be a part of the team that is going to be the best part of someone’s worst day.”
Military A member of the armed forces (active or retired, commissioned or non-commissioned) whose lifesaving action went above and beyond the call of duty.
Recipient: Darren Phillips
SALT LAKE CITY — Darren Phillips could write a book about driving trucks. “You see a lot of crazy things when you’re driving,” he said with a laugh. “Mainly a lot of crazy drivers cutting us off or on their phones.” For the most part, his route from Salt Lake City to Wyoming and back is uneventful, until Thursday morning.
Phillips, who lives in Taylorsville, was driving east on I-80 near Green River when he came over a small hill and saw a Wyoming State Trooper and Dustin Roberts, 36, of McKinleyville, Calif., who the trooper had pulled over. He’ll never forget what he saw as he got closer.
“I could see the two of them wrestling around and fighting and there was nobody else around,” said Phillips. Right away, he knew he had to help. So, he stopped his 18-wheeler in the passing lane next to where the trooper’s car was parked. “I put my brakes on, and I jump out and by this time, the trooper is on his back and the guy is on top of him. The trooper saw me running over and as soon as I got up to him, he says, ‘He’s going for my gun.’” Phillips says the trooper and Roberts both had their hands on the trooper’s gun. Roberts might have grabbed it, if not for what Phillips did next.
“So I just came around behind him and just reached around and put my arm right there and I held it with my other hand and I stood up and I just went back,” he said. “And as I came back, he just came back with me and just fell right on top of me.” Darren Phillips shows off the choke hold he used Thursday. There’s a good reason why his choke hold was so good. “I spent 12 years in the Marine Corps and 14 years with the Utah Army National Guard,” said Phillips. There was no way that man was going to break free.
“I did two tours in Iraq, and I never had to put a choke hold on anyone. That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever done. After he was handcuffed and they were putting him in the patrol car, as he walks by, he’s like ‘nice choke hold,’” said Phillips with a laugh.Lt. Ben Schlosser with the Wyoming Highway Patrol said troopers also found 74 pounds of marijuana and some cocaine in Robert’s car. He’s now in jail. The trooper had some minor cuts, but he’s expected to be OK. If Phillips does eventually write a book on truck driving, it will now include a chapter to remember. “I was just happy to be in the right place at the right time,” said Phillips. “Anything I can do for those guys who put their life on the line every day for us, I’ll do any time.”
Youth Good Samaritan A youth or young adult who uses their knowledge in prevention, preparedness, safety, or identifies a specific community need to help others, save a life, prevent an injury, or respond to an emergency.
Recipient: Chase Hansen
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) - Nine-year-old Chase Hansen, of Draper, is out to save the world! He was first inspired when he was just 4 years old at a comic convention and he’d ask what would a superhero do?“Help the homeless,” said Chase Hansen. Meet Chase Hansen. Part businessman. Part humanitarian and 4th grader obsessed with superheroes. “I see these people, they look like they’re struggling and hurting inside. I’m like dad, how can we help these people? Instantly, I knew I needed to help these people.”His drive to help humanity started years before, at the ripe old age of 4.
Chase and his dad opened up a business in Sandy called Kid Lab, where people would learn about how to make the world a better place, but Kid Lab shutdown after a volunteer stole their funds. Chase decided he would go directly to the homeless, spending time or sharing a meal with them.
Chase’s dad says the homeless instantly were disarmed by his son. They quickly trusted him and opened up about their life. His efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, this week, awarded Chase with a service award. Chase spends his days thinking about helping the homeless. He plans to tackle other big issues such as healthy eating and air quality.