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October 13, 1998

Safety conference to recognize 1998 lifesaving award winners

(Attention news editors: Complete descriptions of each life-saving incident are available and will be faxed to you on request. Contact Bill Ripple at 360/902-5413.)

TUMWATER - A Seattle man who pulled a motorist from a burning van seconds before it exploded in flames killing three other occupants will be among 25 other Washington men and women honored for lifesaving efforts during the past year.

The 26 real-life heroes will be recognized and honored during the opening session of the 47th annual Governor's Industrial Safety and Health Conference being held Oct. 29 and 30 in Spokane. The conference, co-sponsored by the Governor's Industrial Safety and Health Advisory Board and the Department of Labor & Industries, draws upward of 2,000 professionals from across the state, all in common pursuit of safer and more healthful workplaces.

The honoring of the lifesaving award recipients is a highlight of the conference's opening session.

"We are proud to honor and call attention to these 26 men and women who found themselves in the right place at the right time and did the right thing," said L&I Director Gary Moore. "I can't imagine a more nobler act than saving the life of a fellow human being, whether it be the selfless putting one's self in harm's way or the sure and certain application of critical first-aid treatment in stressful circumstances."

One who acted without regard to his personal safety was Richard Winterton, a Boeing electronics technician, who, after narrowly avoiding a deadly multi-vehicle accident on I-405 near Bothell, parked and ran back to help. As smoke poured from a crumpled van, Winterton smashed open a window and dragged a woman to safety before the van exploded in flames.

State troopers praised Winterton's actions, saying: "He actually felt bad that he couldn't get the rest of them out, but he was choking and gagging and the van was fully involved in flames."

Others receiving lifesaving awards (listed by hometown) include:

Anacortes

  • Ed Storme, a Texaco fueling dock worker, who rescued a couple whose boat had capsized.

Centralia

  • Tony Arrendondo who pulled an unconscious woman from the pool at a fitness center and performed CPR until paramedics arrived.

Chehalis

  • Sandy Albertson and Sharon Ferrier who pulled a college student from a burning car and dragged him to safety after he lost control of the car and crashed in a ditch.

East Wenatchee

  • Steve Louthan who rescued a teenager who was drowning in the Columbia River.

 

Elbe (Pierce County)

  • Darrel & Judy Day, who came to the aid of a horseman who nearly suffered an arm amputation when he was attacked by his horse.

Federal Way

  • Roger Harris and Bruce Thompson who joined two other co-workers in performing lifesaving CPR when a company consultant collapsed at work.

Issaquah

  • Mike Smith, a chef, who came to the aid of an elderly grandmother who suffered a heart attack at his restaurant.

Lacey

  • Mark Burch who helped perform CPR on a Spanaway man who suffered a heart attack.

Marysville

  • Dave Litz who grabbed a would-be jumper from a freeway overpass and dragged her to safety.

Medical Lake

  • Rex Casey who correctly diagnosed an assisted living center resident's distress as choking and came to her aid with the Heimlich Maneuver.

Moses Lake

  • Jason Koziol who jumped into the wind-whipped waters of the Columbia River to rescue a woman who had lost control of her personal watercraft and was in danger of being swept over a dam.

Ravensdale (King County)

  • Dale Mackie who jumped into a sand hopper to rescue a co-worker who was trapped and buried in sand.

Seattle

  • Dezso Morovics who pulled a would-be suicide victim from the Cedar River and performed CPR until paramedics arrived.
  • Michael Aoki-Kramer who helped perform CPR on a co-worker who suffered a heart attack and collapsed at her desk.

Shelton

  • Cheryl Stein who went to the aid of a motorist who was trapped in a car after it went out of control and rolled over.

Spanaway

  • Terri Jo Forslof who came to the aid of a young child who had fallen onto I-5 from a freeway overpass.

Tacoma

  • Helmet Schmidt who helped perform CPR on an 83-year-old man who suffered a heart attack in front of his house.
  • James Calloway and Jason Walter who joined two other co-workers in performing lifesaving CPR when a company consultant collapsed at work.
  • Ron Baylis and Randy Wong who will receive Humanitarian Awards for their CPR efforts to revive an elderly man who collapsed at the hotel where they worked.

Tumwater

  • Tim Brown who helped perform CPR on a co-worker who suffered a heart attack and collapsed at her desk.

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