Thursday, November 17, 2016

Red Cross Honors Local Heroes during Annual Award Breakfast

The American Red Cross South Central Pennsylvania Chapter, which covers Adams, Franklin, Fulton, and York Counties, will honor 16 people with nine different awards during the 14th Annual Spirit of the Hero Award Breakfast being held at the Wyndham Garden York Hotel on Thursday, November 17, 2016. Recipients are honored for their heroic and/or selfless acts that improve our communities and show all of us that not all heroes wear capes.

This year’s honorees include:

Frank Roloson, Jess Miller, Shannon Shutika, Shannon Bair (category – Medical)
Things were going well at SpiriTrust Lutheran, The Village at Utz Terrace in Hanover, on November 4, 2015. The staff was going about its normal routine, with a couple of them performing physical therapy on an elderly patient who was in the facility for rehab following bypass surgery. The patient wasn’t feeling well, but no one was expecting her wound VAC (vacuum-assisted closure) to blow, causing instant severe and massive bleeding. Without hesitation, the center’s staff sprang into action. Frank Roloson, Jess Miller, Shannon Shutika, and Shannon Bair worked closely to slow the blood flow and move the patient to bed while keeping her calm and conscious until the paramedics arrived to transport her to a local hospital for emergency surgery. Their quick-thinking response to a potentially fatal situation bought the woman valuable time, time that was needed to get her the emergency medical care that ultimately saved her life. VIEW VIDEO

Erik Swanson, Chad Deardorff, Miguel Cabrera, Christina Sneeringer, Ted Hake (category – Animal Rescue)
In December 2015, the York City Fire Department and White Rose Ambulance were dispatched to a multi-home fire on the 700 block of West Princess Street in the city of York. As the flames were brought under control, firefighters were told that two dogs were still inside the structure. Entering the building, Firefighter Erik Swanson located the first pet and quickly removed him from the home. Barely breathing and suffering from smoke inhalation, Deputy Fire Chief Chad Deardorff, Paramedic Miguel Cabrera, and EMT Christina Sneering administered oxygen using a pet resuscitation mask. Meanwhile, Swanson reentered the building, where he located and removed the second dog, who appeared to be unharmed. As the condition of the first dog stabilized, Paramedic Ted Hake transported both pets to the veterinary hospital, where they were able to receive emergency care. Our pets are part of our family, and thanks to the efforts of these fine first responders, both dogs are happy, healthy and back home with their owners. VIEW VIDEO

Andrew Shaffer (category – Good Neighbor)
Honor, Fidelity, Service. Those are the three pillars of the Northern York County Regional Police Department and the three words that define Officer Andrew Shaffer. In July 2016, Officer Shaffer was dispatched to a residence in Dover Township for a report of an elderly male in cardiac arrest. Officer Shaffer arrived at the home to find the gentleman, who had been mowing the lawn, collapsed in the backyard from what was determined to be a fatal heart attack. Before resuming his 12-hour shift, Officer Shaffer stayed at the home to notify the family and to assist the coroner and funeral home. After completing work later that evening, Officer Shaffer returned to the residence, offered his condolences to the family, and then proceeded to finish mowing the lawn that the elderly gentleman had started before he passed away earlier in the day. Officer Shaffer’s act of kindness and compassion make him a shining example of what it means to serve others. He is a true role model for us all. VIEW VIDEO

Timothy Himes (category – Good Neighbor)
Timothy Himes was out behind his wife’s North York Borough office building when he stumbled upon a man lying unconscious and barely breathing June 2016. As police were being dispatched, Himes began performing CPR in an attempt to revive the gentleman who was later determined to have overdosed on some type of illegal drug. A police officer arrived quickly to the scene and immediately joined Himes in administering CPR – while one person handled the chest compressions, the other breathed air into the now nearly lifeless man. Minutes passed and Himes and the officer noticed no improvement, so Narcon was administered. More time passed and still no improvement, but the two kept giving CPR, not willing to give up hope. When the paramedics arrived, more advanced emergency care was provided, ultimately resulting in the man being revived while still on scene in the ambulance. “Thank God I learned CPR through the American Red Cross,” Himes was noted as saying after the ordeal was over. VIEW VIDEO

David Riley (category – Adult Good Samaritan)
When a masked, armed robber entered Waynesboro’s Antietam Pharmacy in June 2016, owner and pharmacist David Riley saw a situation rapidly go from bad to worse for he and his two employees. Upon entering the store, the robber quickly went to the cash register, where he pulled money from the drawer before turning his attention to the pharmacy counter. Trapping one employee against a wall, the man handed Riley a bag and demanded drugs. Riley, attempting to calm the robber, told him he would give him whatever he wanted if he would just put the gun down. With the perpetrator becoming more and more agitated, Riley began to realize the lives of he and his employees were in jeopardy. Without hesitation he pulled and fired the gun he kept holstered at his side, striking the bandit and bringing the ordeal to an end moments before the police arrived. Riley’s ability to take concise action during an extremely stressful and potentially deadly situation enabled he and his staff – although greatly shaken – to go home to their families unharmed at the end of the day. VIEW VIDEO

Emmah Bowers (category – Youth Good Samaritan)
Emmah Bowers, a senior at New Oxford High School, loves to dance. A longtime student of the Unabashed School of Dance in Hanover, Bowers decided she wanted to share her passion for dance with others – especially children with special needs. So, with the support of the dance studio, Bowers started First Position, a distinctive free dance program designed to inspire special needs children in trying something new in a warm and inviting climate. Over 20 students took part in this year’s classes, which ran from June through August and covered ballet techniques, jazz, and contemporary movement. The sessions culminated with a special showcase, complete with costumes, where the students were able to demonstrate what they learned throughout the summer. Bowers shows us that all people can be a part of something great if they are given the support they need to overcome the obstacles that stand in their way. VIEW VIDEO

Michael Ryan (category – Community Impact)
How many times while driving have you witnessed other drivers playing on their mobile devices? How often have you, yourself, looked away from the road to check a text, an email, or to take a selfie? After losing close friends in a horrific head-on collision that took the lives of five young adults, New Oxford High School senior Michael Ryan decided he wanted to do something to honor the memory of his friends and protect others from suffering the same fate. Realizing that distracted driving was becoming a major problem and a common cause of fatal automobile accidents, Ryan took $10,000 he had set aside to purchase his first car and instead purchased the software he needed to create a mobile app designed to block incoming notifications whenever a vehicle reaches a speed greater than 20 mph. Ryan put the safety of others above his own materialistic desires and, in the process, set the stage to make our roads a safer place for all. VIEW VIDEO

Nathan Tracey (category – Firefighter)
When a call went out concerning a car crash on the 100 block of Indian Rock Dam Road in December 2015, York Township’s Goodwill Fire Company Chief Nathan Tracey was first on scene, where he found a vehicle with its front end crashed into a utility pole and was fully engulfed in flames from the back. Realizing the driver was trapped inside the car, Tracey sprang into action. He approached the burning vehicle, opened the driver’s door, and was faced with an unconscious, yet breathing, person behind the wheel. Using his own protective gear to shield the man from the heat and flames, Tracey pulled the gentleman safely from the vehicle before fire crews had arrived to extinguish the flames. Though Tracey would say he was only “doing what he was trained to do,” we realize it takes a true hero to place one’s own life at risk to save the life of another. VIEW VIDEO

John Salvadia (category – Military)
Dog T.A.G.S. (Train Assist Guide Dogs) is a Mechanicsburg nonprofit that incorporates veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Military Sexual Trauma in the training of their own service dogs. In this unique approach, veterans are able to bond with their dogs from day one, working with them as they are trained to be their own service providers. At the same time, veterans in the program participate together with a social worker as a support group where they are able to share their thoughts and experiences. Lewisberry resident John Salvadia, a former member of the United States Air Force and a retired Harrisburg Police Corporal and K-9 handler, was named the organization’s president in 2013 and was tasked with helping the relatively new and struggling group get a foothold in the marketplace. His leadership, fundraising ability, and training acumen have helped to solidify the group as a vital resource for veterans in the area. VIEW VIDEO