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Sept. 20, 2006

Safety conference to honor 43 with lifesaving and humanitarian awards

TUMWATER — Forty-three people will be given lifesaving and humanitarian awards when the 55th annual Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference convenes in Spokane next week. Their heroics aided individuals who suffered heart attacks, near-drownings, auto accidents and other perils.

The Sept. 27 and 28 safety and health conference will be at the Spokane Convention Center. More than 2,000 people are expected to participate in more than 70 events, including workshops, exhibitions and demonstrations, as well as a forklift rodeo, poletop-rescue competition and trade show. See www.LNI.wa.gov/Safety/TrainTools/GovConf/ for conference information. Registration begins onsite at 7 a.m. Sept. 27. Cost is $140.

Gov. Chris Gregoire will present the lifesaving awards honoring individuals who use their first‑aid training and hands-on actions to save someone’s life. She will also present humanitarian awards, which are given when lifesaving efforts were made but the victim did not survive or when actions or deeds prevented the loss of life by means other than hands-on actions. The awards are presented at the opening session beginning Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.

Here are the lifesaving and humanitarian awards, listed according to where the individuals work or live:

Bellevue – Workers at the Boeing plant were using a crane to move a piece of equipment when a piece broke loose and struck a nearby worker, leaving a large gash in his forehead. John Gilham took quick action and told the crane operator to call 911 while he helped the victim to the floor and kept him calm and quiet. He used a hat as a compress to stop the heavy bleeding while he made sure the injured man was breathing and calm until paramedics arrived and took over.

Covington – Boeing employee Gilbert Arellano was busy at work when he saw a co‑worker collapse. The victim fell unconscious to the floor, hitting his head on a table vise on the way down. As he lay motionless, Gil rushed to his aid. He got others to call 911 while comforting the injured man and keeping him calm until help arrived. Thanks to Gil, the victim fully recovered.

Crystal Mountain – Retired Issaquah Middle School principal and volunteer Crystal Mountain ski patroller John Macartney was enjoying a day of skiing with his family when he found a skier upside down in a tree well, a dangerous condition caused when snow accumulates around the base of a tree. He called to another patroller, Steve Swanson, to help. It took both men several minutes to extricate the skier from the tree well. It was then John realized the trapped skier was his wife, Laurie Macartney, also a Ski Patrol volunteer. She wasn’t breathing and her jaw was clamped shut, so John gave her mouth-to-nose resuscitation until she was able to breathe on her own. Other off-duty ski patrollers assisted with the rescue, providing equipment and medical attention. They included Mike Bowen, Steve Ferkovich, Dan Harrington, Steve Rolfe and Dr. Bob Huck. Thanks to their efforts, Laurie made a full recovery.

Elma – Workers from Michels Power were replacing a power pole when suddenly it snapped, swung around and hit one of the workers in the back. Lineman Joel Mounts saw what happened and called 911. Ryan Burbidge and Mark Burbidge dug the victim’s face out of the mud so he could breathe and covered him with blankets as they assessed his condition. Knowing he could have spinal injuries, they kept him still and as comfortable as possible. When paramedics arrived, the victim was conscious and able to move his fingers and toes. The men then helped load him on a backboard and he was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center.

Enumclaw – Boeing employee Tom Bigford noticed that a co-worker seemed disoriented and was losing control of his normal motor skills. He got him to sit down and stay calm and then ran for help. Paramedics quickly took the victim to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a heart attack. Tom’s quick action got him the help he needed in time to save his life.

Everett – While at lunch, Boeing employee Roland Hebert saw a co-worker choking. Without hesitation, he began performing the Heimlich maneuver. Within a few seconds, the food was dislodged and the co-worker was breathing again.

Kent – Arvid Straume, a safety manager for BMWC Constructor, was in his office when a co‑worker ran in yelling for help. A pipe fitter had collapsed in the gravel. Arvid responded quickly by enlisting co-workers Mark Boote and Pat Basher to assist with CPR. They revived the victim by the time paramedics arrived but, sadly, he died later that day.

Lakewood – Michael Carrington of John Korsmo Construction came to the aid of a frantic co-worker who was choking and could not speak. Michael immediately performed the Heimlich maneuver several times to no avail. On the sixth try, he succeeded in dislodging the blockage.

Morton – While patrolling icy roads on a December day, Lewis County PUD employee Brad Peters and a co-worker saw a car that had slid off the road with two people hanging upside down by their seatbelts. Brad radioed for help while the co-worker flagged traffic. After evaluating the couple’s condition, he cut their seatbelts and carefully lowered them to safety, where he kept them calm until help arrived.

Olympia – Larry Hatch Jr., a Car Toys employee, had plans to enjoy opening day of trout fishing with his father, but his father became ill. Several hours after returning home, his father asked to be taken to the hospital and then he collapsed unconscious. Larry Jr. quickly called 911 and began CPR on his father until paramedics arrived. Upon arrival at the hospital, Larry Sr. immediately underwent successful coronary surgery and is now doing great.

Olympia – Renee Lizee, a Boeing employee, was on her houseboat at an Olympia marina when she thought she heard someone yelling for help. It sounded like it might be just the wind on that cold, stormy day, but she decided to investigate. Rene looked all around, not seeing anyone, but then called out and got a reply. In the icy water was a disabled Army veteran who had slipped and fallen in an hour earlier. She ran to pull him out of the water, removed his wet clothing and wrapped him in a warm blanket until he recovered.

Olympia – In the late afternoon of July 9, 2005, a mountain-climbing trip turned tragic. Two trip leaders were dead, struck by a falling rock the size of a refrigerator. Two others were badly injured. Michael Hannam, a Department of Natural Resources employee, and another climber moved the two surviving victims to a safer place and covered them with extra clothing. Michael raced down the glacier to get help and then returned with gear to make shelters. In the meantime, a third injured victim died. Michael continued providing aid to the lone injured survivor until rescuers could get to the site the next morning. His actions saved the man’s life.

Redmond – After stepping outside his building, Grubb and Ellis Management Services employee Mark Bayless saw a man sitting down slumped over. Onlookers mentioned the man’s erratic behavior. Mark talked to the man and asked him if he was diabetic. The victim nodded, and Mark immediately went to find him some orange juice. After a few minutes, the man began to respond normally again. Thanks to Mark’s quick action, the man fully recovered.

Pasco – Franklin County PUD linemen Barry Balvitsch, Dan Dean and Mike McBee were working when they discovered their foreman unconscious. They immediately went into action, calling for help and administering CPR and applying the portable Automated External Defibrillator (AED). They got him breathing and monitored his condition until he could be airlifted to the hospital where he underwent bypass surgery. Their quick action saved his life.

Seattle – It’s not every day that two Seattle motorcycle policemen get an ovation from onlookers, but it happened to Officer Glenn Cook and Sgt. Paul Kloss when they came to the aid of a man after he collapsed near Westlake Center. They rushed to the victim’s aid and performed CPR until medics arrived. Thanks to their efforts, the man survived and is doing well.

Seattle – Several employees were taking a company-sponsored CPR class at the Esterline Korry Electronics facility when they had an unexpected chance to put their skills to use. When one of their fellow employees began gasping for air and turning blue, class instructor Marlo Pikul Holloway started CPR with help from Joni Hards. Michael Suffia ran to call 911 and guided paramedics to the scene. Echo Summers retrieved one of the company’s AEDs so that Marlo could administer the shock. Thanks to everyone, the victim survived and has returned to work.

Seattle – Boeing employee James Gapp was working nearby when a co-worker operating a table saw nearly severed three fingers. The man was bleeding badly, so James took quick action and wrapped his injured hand in rags to stop the bleeding, then rushed him for medical attention.

Seattle – During early morning hours, Officer Jacob Haines was patrolling when he saw flames coming from a house. He radioed for assistance and then realized there may be people inside. He began breaking windows and yelling. Forcing entry, he found a disoriented man. He led him out and with Officer James Parnell, continued to check and found an unresponsive woman with her leg caught in a bed frame. They were pulling her out a window when firefighters arrived and assisted. Both victims were hospitalized in critical condition.

Spanaway – Boeing employee Julie Nelson came upon the scene of an accident that had just occurred. She pulled over and jumped the highway barrier to get to the accident. Another Boeing employee, Darrin Mannie, came upon the scene and also stopped. Julie, a trained paramedic, got into the car to assist the elderly couple. She assessed their injuries, helped keep them calm and protected them from further injuries. Darrin helped paramedics gain access to the victims inside the wrecked car so they could be easily and safety extracted on a backboard. Julie and Darrin’s quick and selfless actions helped the couple through the terrible ordeal.

Tacoma – Tacoma Rail locomotive engineer Marc Robertson and conductor Robert Bailey were on their train in a remote area in Lewis County when they saw a car’s headlights pointing up at the sky in the darkness. They stopped the train and found a car that had gone off the road and rolled 30 feet down an embankment. An injured woman had been in the car for several hours. They administered first aid, got her safely out of the car and into the train and called ahead for help. Paramedics met them in Morton and transported the young college student to Harborview.

Tacoma – Department of Labor & Industries inspector Tom Berryman came across a two-car accident where both cars had left the road and landed upside down in trees. He went to their aid immediately. In one smoking car, a woman hung from her seat belt. In the other, two teens were lying outside and two were trapped inside. An off-duty firefighter stopped to help. Together, they helped get the victims out of the cars and performed CPR and first aid until help arrived. Sadly, one driver did not survive but, thanks to the two men’s quick action, the four teens survived.

Tukwila – Tukwila police were pursuing a suspect who dove into the Green River with his hands still handcuffed behind his back. Officer Alan Baalaer saw him sink below the surface and start drifting down the river. Jumping into the water in full gear, Officer Baalaer grabbed the suspect’s shirt and swam for shore, where other officers were waiting to assist. Officer Baalaer went beyond the call of duty and risked his own life to save that of another.

Tumwater – Sandra Inglin’s flight attendant training with Alaska Airlines taught her to always be prepared for an emergency. While working out at a gym, she noticed a young woman slumped over and not breathing. Sandra began CPR and applying the AED. By the time paramedics arrived, the victim was conscious and breathing. Thanks to Sandra’s quick action, the young mother of three made a full recovery.

Walla Walla – Craig Jones, a Department of Corrections employee, was driving with his family when he saw an accident where a car had collided with a woman on an electric scooter. The woman had a head wound and severe injuries to her legs. The driver of the other car called for help while Craig ran to get blankets to protect the woman from cold and rain. Cars kept going by splashing water, so Tom knelt next to her, shielded her from passing motorists and kept her still until help arrived. His willingness to help a stranger helped save her life.

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For media information: Elaine Fischer, 360-902-5413 or nele235@LNI.wa.gov or visit the L&I News and Media Center at www.LNI.wa.gov/News.

Broadcast version:
Forty-three people will receive lifesaving awards at the 55th Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference in Spokane next week. Their heroic actions aided individuals who suffered heart attacks, near drowning, auto accidents and other perils.

Governor Chris Gregoire will open the conference and present the awards at the opening session beginning at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The September 27 and 28 conference at the Spokane Convention Center features workshops and exhibitions on the latest in workplace safety and health. Registration begins onsite at 7 a.m. on September 27 and costs $140 per person.

For more information, visit www.LNI.wa.gov.

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