Red Cross honors ‘Acts of Courage’

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Twelve people were honored Thursday by the American Red Cross of the Mahoning Valley with the agency’s “Acts of Courage” award.

The acts of courage ranged from giving someone CPR who was having a heart attack to saving an 11-year-old boy who nearly drowned at Mosquito Creek. The heroes were escorted into Powers Auditorium by the Red Cross K-9 action team dogs.

Those honored were:

  • Jeanine Spangler and Marcella Tolnar of Cortland: They helped rescue an elderly Austintown woman from her disabled car last June after it became stuck in the mud. The friction from the car’s spinning tires caught some hay on fire and threatened to engulf the car. Spangler and Tolnar pulled the woman out of her car to safety.
  • Karen Cooper: While waiting for her items at the Brookfield Drive Thru on March 25, the clerk collapsed and she performed CPR on him until paramedics arrived.
  • Capt. Craig King, a firefighter from Van Wert: He was in Boardman attending a firefighter training class in February and while sitting in traffic on his lunch break, he saw a woman jump from the front seat of her car to the back. Knowing something was wrong, he jumped out of his car. A 4-year-old girl was choking and had stopped breathing. He performed the Heimlich maneuver on her and saved her life.
  • Anthony Pilolli, Shannon Graf, Shawn Murray and Erika Hricik: While working out at the gym, a man collapsed and hit his head on the ground. He did not appear to be breathing and did not have a pulse. Pilolli is a paramedic with Lane LifeTrans, Graf is an EMT, Murray is a Youngstown firefighter and Hricik is a nursing student. They performed CPR and used the AED on the victim, which made him responsive and able to breathe on his own.
  • Moneki E. Huff of Warren: She entered an organ donation program to donate a kidney to her mother-in-law. She later learned she was not a compatible donor, but she stayed in the program anyway and ended up donating a kidney to a man from Chicago in January. And because of her donation, six other patients, including her mother-in-law, were able to receive transplants.
  • Tim Saxton, business manager for the Boardman Local School District: On March 9, during a committee meeting, board president Nik Amstutz went into cardiac arrest and Saxton performed CPR until paramedics arrived and used the AED.
  • David Ragozine of Bristolville: In July 2013, he helped rescue a young boy who had fallen into the water at Mosquito Creek.
  • M. Kurt Welsh of Boardman: While on a Nature Walk in Mill Creek Park, he encountered an older man who had collapsed and gone into cardiac arrest at the top of a hill. Because of the man’s location, Ragozine could not reach him. So he scaled a fallen tree that hung over two fences and jumped into McKelvey Lake and swam to shore. He then ran to Liberty Road, scaled another fence and kept running until he found a home where he called for an ambulance. While waiting for an ambulance, Ragozine performed CPR on the man.

Also honored at Thursday’s event was Winkle Electric, which received the Spirit of the Mahoning Valley Award. The company is celebrating its 70th anniversary.

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