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Red Cross Celebrates Real Heroes

CALIFORNIA – Each year the American Red Cross honors “Real Heroes” at Red Cross chapters across the country. The benevolent acts of these heroes embody the true spirit of the mission of the Red Cross: prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.

In your darkest hour, a stranger comes to your rescue; the quick steps of a passerby save a life in crisis; the quality of life is improved by the selfless act of a caring person. These are the actions of the ordinary people the Red Cross calls “Real Heroes.”The American Red Cross Central Valley invites everyone to “join us as we honor selfless acts of courage and humanitarian service by real people in our community.”

The Real Heroes Event will be celebrated on Friday, Mar. 22., set in the 1940s at the historic Chandler Airport, Memley Aviation Hangar. Guests are encouraged to doll up in true 1940’s fashion.

At 5:30 p.m. the festivities begin with cocktails and a silent auction, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and a presentation of the Real Heroes. Then guests are invited to dance to the sounds of “big band” music from 8:30 to 10 p.m.

Tickets are $75, and are available at www.redcross.org/ca/fresno

Information Anya Goosev at 559-455-1000 • anya.goosev@redcross.org

Here are the Real Heroes Nominees to be honored at this special event –

Female Good Samaritan Hero – Nominee Ruby Linares
Nominator: Pamela Avila, RN, School Nurse, Porterville High School

Ruby had received her Certified Nursing Assistant certification in high school as a junior and had just completed her Emergency Medical Technician class as a senior…… Here is her story.

On May 6, 2012, Ruby was having lunch with her parents, on the day of Porterville Academy of Health Science graduation, at a local restaurant. She noticed a family also eating and her mother told her to quit staring. Well she had noticed them because there appeared to be something wrong with the older gentleman.

She determined something looked very wrong, and jumped up and ran over and asked the gentleman if he needed help. She could see right away he was choking. His family was panicked so she got them to calm down a little and had them call 911. The man was much bigger than she was, so she called her father over and instructed him step by step through the Heimlich maneuver and they were able to dislodged the food.

Ruby also realized his struggle was because he was truly having a stroke so she quickly placed him into the recovery position and continued to provide support to the family and the patient until the paramedics arrived. They commended her on her assessment and care and told her she had most assuredly saved his life.

Adult Male Good Samaritan Hero – Nominees James Bennett & J.D. Bennett
Nominator: Judith Case

From People Magazine – Heroes Among Us Award, December 17, 2012 issue
During two tours in Iraq, Army sergeant James Bennett saved a man wounded by bombs. So when he and his dad, ex-Marine and retired corrections officer J.D., came upon a firey van on Jan. 28, 2012, instinct took over.

It was a grim scene – Paul Rosales, 20 and Rosa Lopez, 19 were dead, but their children, Aleena, 10 months, and Paul Messiah, age 2, had survived. James dove through a shattered window to pull out Aleena. J.D. used a pocket knfe to hack through two sets of car seat straps as his scalp and arms were singed. Seconds after J.D. rescued Paul, the van exploded.

Two days later, relatives named the Bennetts the children’s godparents to honor their bravery, says their aunt and guardian Lupita Lopex. “They’re angels.” James, a father of three says he’s “heartbroken” that the parents died, but sees the children frequently – lately he’s been teaching Paul to talk and to count. “I love them,” he says, “like my own.”

Animal Rescue Hero – Nominee Brenna Flynn
Nominator: Erin Munster

Brenna FlynnBrenna Flynn is my baby sister. She is 15 years old and has been working to help her community and reach out to others since she was about 7 years old. My sister is currently a member of PWAP – Puppies With A Plan – based out of Fresno, CA. She is a raiser of Guide Dogs for the Blind puppies. My sister attends high school full-time, is a member of her high school varsity soccer team, maintains above a 4.0 grade point average and still finds the time for other volunteer opportunities, on top of raising guide dogs.

Training and raising a guide dog is a 24/7 job. Dogs must be taken care of, trained in specific ways, and always accompany their raisers. There is no “break” from her volunteer work and her desire to render help to people who need a guide dog to improve their quality of life.

My sister is genuine, kind, caring, hardworking, funny, talented, and compassionate. She pours all of her love into the raising her dogs so that they will be a blessing to a person who needs assistance. She does this with a joyful heart. She never gets frustrated with the time involved in taking care of them or the difficulty of taking care of a new puppy, which is almost like taking care of a baby. She takes time to take the dogs to different locations all around the Central Valley and to make the weekly meeting with other raisers. These meetings help her to improve her skills as a raiser and to share her experience with others.

Brenna is, hands down, the most mature, intelligent, caring young person I have ever met. I am privileged to have her as a sister.

Community Partner Hero – Nominees Floyd and Ione Roland
Nominator: Merced Sun Star – Ramona Giwargis

Floyd Roland, 84, and his wife Ione, 80, have devoted their entire lives to handing food out to the hungry (at least 30 years). Without taking a penny of pay, Floyd built a 4,500-square foot warehouse to store the food and uses his own car/fuel to transport the donated food. Last year alone, the couple handed out 379,000 pounds of food, feeding roughly 5,181 families in the area. Read their entire story in the Merced Sun-Star.

Female Youth Hero – Nominee Amber Stewart
Nominator: Patty Dunn

From Action News – Girl, 11, saves family from burning home in Fresno

A Fresno family will spend Easter away from home after a fire ripped through their home Thursday morning. The flames ignited at the house on San Bruno near First and Shaw in Northeast Fresno. Firefighters say an 11-year-old girl staying at her grandma’s house saw and smelled smoke coming from the garage and quickly woke up her family. They couldn’t save the home but thankfully no one was seriously hurt or killed.

Firefighters responded to the fire around 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning. When they got there neighbors were already using garden hoses to help put out the fire. A son of the grandma received treatment there for smoke inhalation and was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

No one was hurt and 11-year-old Amber Stewart told Action News what happened after she first noticed smoke inside the home. “I was coughing. So then I went to and got my brother up. Because I didn’t know what to do—duck, go to my grandma get out of the house. So I went and we went into the bathroom, splashed my eyes out. Then we went to my grandma.”

American Red Cross Ambassador Hero – Nominee Debby Dailey, RN, BSN, PHN
State Nurse Liaison, Disaster Services, National Headquarters
Nominator: American Red Cross Central Valley Staff and Board of Directors

We would like nominate Debby Dailey, for the American Red Cross Central Valley Chapter Ambassador Hero Award. This is a woman that goes beyond the description of being a passionately devoted Health Care Professional and Red Cross Volunteer.
So what exactly do those words mean?

Webster definitions:
Passionate: Intense emotion compelling action, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction
Devoted: Loyal
Health Care Professional (A registered nurse in this case): to take charge of, watch over, to manager with care through hard times.

In the Red Cross dictionary it means “Debby Dailey.” Debby is an ex-firefighter, Professional Educator, Nurse, Friend and Volunteer. A woman who has no boundaries when it comes to the care of her clients, getting the job done and seeing that it is done right. A woman who will not take NO for an answer even from the highest ranking officials; she puts her reputation and life on the line without any question, to better the lives she has sworn to help. She is known across the
nation – no matter how small, large, local or global the disaster maybe. If you mention Nurse Debby Dailey, both volunteers and clients alike will know who she is.

Just in 2012 alone, Debby is a full time professor at Fresno City College, our state nurse liaison for all of Division 2 – which means she is on call 24/7 for any and all disasters from the Philippines to Alaska – and top it off, she is the liaison for the California student nurse program.

Debby was deployed for 2 weeks to Hurricane Isaac as a manager for health services. Debby was home no more than a month when Super Storm Sandy hit and she once again answered the call. But this time at great personal lost. JJ who was her rescue dog and companion of 13 yrs. passed away while she was on deployment. Debby returned home just in time for Thanksgiving and to celebrate her birthday. But Debby’s story does not end there. She had barely been home a week when she got another call to deploy; this one was special. It was as if she had been handpicked by the angels themselves. She was asked to be the only health service nurse to help with the mass causality incident at the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting.

You ask why? She had obviously done her time serving those in need during the Hurricane Season. She had just lost her best friend and companion. Had she not been through enough heartache for one season? Why go back to such a horrific tragedy?

Well, Katrina (Central Valley Emergency Services Program Manager) asked her that very same question and this is what she said. “Katina this is what I do, those families were my clients at the shelter I was managing in New Jersey, they need a friendly face and a helping hand to get them through what they need to get through in these coming weeks, and I’m going!”

Once Debby makes up her mind to do something there is very little to change her mind. In Debby’s eyes she was not just being deployed to another disaster. This was an honor and a privilege to serve those that were in need of her services. If there ever was a true hero, it is this lady right here. Debby Dailey one of the most dedicated and passionate Red Cross women that has served since Clara Barton herself, founder of American Red Cross.

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