L&I News

See more More news releases

October 11, 1995

1995 Lifesaving Award winners honored Oct. 26 at Seattle Governor's Industrial Safety and Health Conference

LONGVIEW - While leaving a log ship at the Port of Longview last January, Michael Herron, a 52-year-old longshoreman, slipped on the deck and fell over the side of the ship.

Herron struck the dock as he dropped into the frigid waters of the Columbia River. No one saw the mishap, but a co-worker heard Herron shout for help.

Paul Gunis, a superintendent on his first day on the job, arrived at the scene. He saw Herron struggling to stay afloat. He also noticed another worker, Ken Farland lowering himself into the water with a wire rope hanging over the side of the ship.

Farland, not wearing a lifejacket, grabbed Herron's collar with one hand and Gunis, who was wearing a float coat, followed Farland into the water, helping both men stay afloat for more than 15 minutes. Co-workers rigged a wire sling to lift the trio from the water.

Gunis and Farland, despite suffering the effects of advancing hypothermia, were able to maneuver Herron into a sling. Gunis and Farland were pulled from the icy water in the same manner. Herron, who suffered a collapsed lung, broken ribs and a leg injury, was taken to the hospital and treated for his injuries.

Gunis and Farland are among 11 Lifesaving Award recipients honored at the 44th Governor's Industrial Safety and Health Conference in Seattle Oct. 26. Lifesaving awards are given to Washington workers who have taken urgently required actions to save a life.

The Governor's Industrial Safety and Health Advisory Board reviews all nominations and selects award recipients. The award is available to anyone who works in Washington, saves a life during the course of their job, and is covered by workers' compensation.

Other Washington Lifesaving Award heroes to be honored are:

James Nale III and Michael Rochon, Metro Transit employees, came to the aid of a co-worker who collapsed while playing basketball. They performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation until medical aid arrived.

Alan Standard and Ron Mace, Department of Natural Resources employees, came upon the scene of a fatal two-car head-on collision minutes after the accident happened. The pair set out safety markers on the road, doused the engines of both cars with a fire extinguisher and then offered comfort to the surviving victims until emergency rescue crews arrived.

Dave Boudia, a Department of General Administration employee, performed cardioupulmonary resuscitation on an electrician who suffered a heart attack and fell from a ladder while working at an Olympia business.

Lynda Stoneberg, a Department of Labor & Industries employee performed the Heimlich maneuver on a co-worker who was choking.


Adrian Garcia, a 12-year Department of Natural Resources employee, talked a despondent man out of committing suicide on a logging road.


Kevin Pearson and Craig Atwood, Department of Natural employees, rescued a forest crew worker (prison inmate) who fell 500 feet down a steep embankment.

For more information about the awards or the conference, call 360-902-5160.


End of main content, page footer follows.

Access Washington official state portal

© Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries. Use of this site is subject to the laws of the state of Washington.