FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA

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Red Cross to honor local heroes

By From page A3 | September 16, 2011

Left to right, Senior Master Sgt. Alton Prayer, Capt. Timothy Ober, Capt. Jonathan Hansen (aircraft commander) and Lt. Andrew Wuebold are four of the six Travis Air Force Base aircrew members who saved a two-year-old girl's life when she suffered a seizure while on their aircraft in flight. Not pictured are Staff Sgt. Michael Burk and Airman 1st Class Taylor Schuster Steiner. The aircrew are six of 20 Solano County residents being honored at an upcoming Heroes breakfast organized by the Solano County chalpter of the Red Cross. (Courtesy photo)

Left to right, Senior Master Sgt. Alton Prayer, Capt. Timothy Ober, Capt. Jonathan Hansen (aircraft commander) and Lt. Andrew Wuebold are four of the six Travis Air Force Base aircrew members who saved a two-year-old girl's life when she suffered a seizure while on their aircraft in flight. Not pictured are Staff Sgt. Michael Burk and Airman 1st Class Taylor Schuster Steiner. The aircrew are six of 20 Solano County residents being honored at an upcoming Heroes breakfast organized by the Solano County chalpter of the Red Cross. (Courtesy photo)

SUISUN CITY — A Fairfield man who crawled into a rolled-over vehicle and gave the trapped woman first aid until the paramedics arrived.

A Travis Air Force Base C-17 aircrew who kept a 2-year-old girl who suffered a seizure alive until they could land at a nearby air base and get her to proper medical care.

Two restaurant employees, concerned about an older, regular customer they hadn’t seen in some time, who went to his house to check on him and found he had fallen down and injured himself.

These are a few of the local heroes the Solano County chapter of the American Red Cross are honoring at its Heroes Breakfast at 8 a.m. Friday on the Suisun City waterfront.

The recipients have all been nominated by local public safety agencies and local citizens. They made a difference in their community and in the lives of those around them.

For more information, ticket prices or to buy tickets, call the American Red Cross at 438-7063.

This year’s honorees are:

– Act of Courage recipient Ryan Reyes of Fairfield. Reyes, a medic who just returned from Afghanistan, came upon a car accident where the vehicle had rolled over onto its side and pinned the woman driver between the dashboard and the windshield.

Even though the car was still unstable, Ryan climbed inside and started first aid. He was still inside when the paramedics arrived and stayed there until the woman was extricated.

– Act of Kindness recipients Terri Brasher, who works at Scotty’s Restaurant in Vallejo, and friend Jeff Vinatieri. Brasher knew all the regular customers on a first-name basis, and when one didn’t show up when he usually did, she got worried.

After calling his house and not getting an answer, she and Vinatieri went there, rang the doorbell and still didn’t get an answer. She opened the door, called out for him and got a weak cry in response. The elderly man had fallen, injured himself and was too weak to reach the phone. The two immediately got their friend the help he needed.

– Life Saving recipient Ken Hicks of Vallejo. Hicks dove into Benicia Bay to save a drowning toddler and his father. Hicks successfully battled through an outgoing tide and a strong current to get them both to shore and arriving first responders.

– Life Saving recipients Senior Master Sgt. James Van Nostrand, Master Sgt. Duncan Ballantyne, Master Sgt. Michael Copeland, Master Sgt. Matthew Moore, Tech. Sgt. James Sanders, Tech. Sgt. Jay Voytek and Tech. Sgt. Larry Knight. These seven proved that when one is choking, one can never have too many sergeants around.

When an airman started choking while eating lunch in the squadron break room, Ballantyne and Van Nostrand started administering the Heimlich maneuver while Knight got on the phone to bring in emergency responders.

The airman wasn’t responding to the maneuver and was turning blue so Sanders, Copeland, Moore and Voytek stepped in and relieved each other in hopes taller people could get better leverage. The victim was on the verge of unconsciousness when unrelenting stomach thrusts and finger sweeps dislodged the object, saving his life.

– Life Saving recipient Fairfield Fire Department Battalion Chief Rob Bartoli. While on vacation in Hawaii snorkeling, Bartoli spotted a woman floating in the water. He pulled her to shore and started CPR. He and others kept at it until she regained a pulse and was taken to a hospital, where she made a full recovery.

– Life Saving recipients Capt. Jonathan Hansen, Capt. Timothy Ober, Lt. Andrew Wuebold, Senior Master Sgt. Alton Prayer, Staff Sgt. Michael Burk and Airman 1st Class Schuster Steiner. The aircrew of a C-17 Globemaster III jet transport was flying from Fort Campbell, Kent., to Travis with six passengers when a 2-year-old suffered a seizure and lost consciousness.

The loadmasters started first aid while the pilots quickly diverted the aircraft to McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., where medical personnel rushed onto the aircraft to take over treatment within minutes of it touching the ground.

– Community Service recipient Randi Paules of Vacaville. Described as a very active, energetic and involved retiree, Paules’s work helping in the community ranges from dropping off books and magazines to local hospitals and nursing homes to grocery shopping for shut-ins and driving people to doctor’s appointments.

She also assists the local fire station, assists homeless, and institutes fundraising and boutique sales for the local food bank.

– Community Service recipient Marci Seegmiller of Vallejo. Seegmiller started as a volunteer with the Vallejo Police Department in 2003. She steadily rose through the volunteer ranks to manage the department’s volunteer program at a time when budget cutbacks have forced the police to make unprecedented reductions in their staff.

Seegmiller manages the program from training and background checks to scheduling. She authored the program’s volunteer manual and publishes a monthly newsletter.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or [email protected]

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic. He is an avid military history buff, wargamer and loves the great outdoors.
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