HUBBARD - Residents of the Mahoning Valley who have acted courageously and selflessly in times of emergency were recognized for their brave acts at the second annual Acts of Courage and the Spirit of the Mahoning Valley Awards hosted by the American Red Cross of the Mahoning Valley.
Karen E. Conklin, executive director of the Red Cross, said because of the brave acts performed by everyday people, tragedy was averted and lives were saved.
Conklin said as a community leader in emergency preparedness and response, the Red Cross annually presents awards to those who have acted courageously and selflessly in a time of emergency often at great risk and sacrifice to their own personal safety, comfort and wellbeing. She said the individuals have acted in a heroic manner by reaching out to help others in times of greatest need.
Congressman Bill Johnson was among those who recognized this year's nine recipients.
Windi Kresic and Jackie Loges, who responded to cries for help when a woman collapsed during an exercise class. These two women administered CPR until the paramedics arrived. Because of their quick response and willingness to help a stranger, they saved her life.
Guido Jannetti was eating lunch on a sales trip in Dallas when a father eating with his family a few tables away began choking. Jannetti immediately started abdominal thrusts on the man, and after a few attempts, the man began to cough up his food and resumed breathing.
The man being rescued also was having a seizure, which could have been the reason he was choking. Jannetti's quick response is attributed to saving that man's life.
Charles "Chuck" O. Miller, referred to as "The Master of the Mahoning," led his kayaking troop around the dam in Struthers. One woman ventured too close to the dam and was pulled under water. She was ejected from her kayak and did everything she could to pull herself away from the structure. However, each attempt failed. Miller took action and climbed onto one of the dam supports to throw a rope to the woman and pull her to safety.
Florence Wang worked tirelessly into the night to secure assistance for a complete stranger living on the other side of the world.
In early December 2011, the head of OMNOVA Solutions in China fell ill with a life-threatening condition causing his blood platelets to dramatically decrease to less than 1,000 digits. Wang was contacted by the Summit / Portage County Red Cross and worked into the night contacting senior Red Cross officials in China.
Because of her willingness to help a man she never met, the hospital was able to quickly give the transfusions he needed and save his life.
James Keefner was just a bystander when flames began to burst from the three cars across the street. His elderly neighbor was unresponsive behind the wheel of one of the cars. After one man smashed through the window, Keefner was able to grab him by his jacket and pull him away from the car.
His response without hesitation helped save his neighbor.
Upon hearing a crash, Jeff Jardine and Robert Bennett immediately ran to the scene to find a small experimental plane crashed into a creek. The two men sat the disoriented pilot upright until paramedics could arrive.
Another neighbor, Robert Boyd, brought in his ATV and trailer to transport the man up the hill and through the rough terrain to the ambulance. The men had no clue what they were walking into and helped to save the life of a complete stranger.
Individuals nominated for the award exhibit lifesaving actions deserving of special recognition between April 1, 2011 and April 1, 2012.