Honor a hero

The American Red Cross of Summit, Portage and Medina counties will once again honor individuals who displayed extraordinary courage to become someone’s hero.

Do you know a community member who entered a burning home to rescue a trapped family? A passerby who pulled a drowning child to safety? A neighbor who administered CPR or abdominal thrusts to a total stranger? A dog that alerted its family to a fire? If so, then the Red Cross needs your help.

The Red Cross is asking for assistance from communities to help identify ordinary people who have placed themselves in harm’s way or have even risked their own lives to save another.

Nominees must reside or work within Portage, Medina or Summit County and must have performed the heroic act in 2019.

Last year’s Acts of Courage Award honorees included:

• Eric Pederson, who saved a family in his neighborhood when he noticed a home fire during his morning commute.

• Akron Police Detective Susan Hackbart and Goodyear Public Library Branch Manager Tonya Gardella, administered CPR and an AED on an unconscious patron until EMS arrived.

• Akron Police Officer Timothy Hunt, who responded to an unresponsive two-year-old. Officer Hunt performed CPR in the ambulance during the 20-minute ride to the hospital.

• Paul Miroewski, who pulled a driver from an overturned vehicle on I-271 minutes before the vehicle exploded.

• Returning home for lunch during his summer break from school, Brandon Waterson contacted emergency services when he noticed smoke billowing out of a neighbor’s home, saving the neighbor’s home and dog.

• Tave Constantine performed abdominal thrusts and back blows to dislodge the food his mother, who survived thyroid cancer, was choking on.

All submissions will be reviewed by a selection committee. Individuals selected will be honored as local heroes at the Acts of Courage Awards Ceremony at Hilton Akron/Fairlawn, March 5, 2020. To nominate a hero, visit redcross.org/neoheroes. The deadline to submit nominations is Dec. 31.

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