Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, County Council President Roger Berliner, Councilmember Phil Andrews and Fire Chief Richard Bowers today paid tribute to a group of “Everyday Heroes” – ordinary people who took extraordinary actions to save lives and help others. This afternoon, in a ceremony at the Public Safety Training Academy in Rockville, five individuals, including one teenager, were recognized for their roles in three different incidents.
“It is a real pleasure for me to take part in this ceremony that recognizes the finest in human nature; the willingness to do whatever one can to save a life,” said Leggett. “Each of you honored today summoned up extraordinary courage and were pivotal in the positive outcomes of life-threatening situations. We are sincerely grateful for your remarkable service.”
County Council President Roger Berliner said, “Ralph Waldo Emerson, a great American poet, said about heroes, ‘Self-trust is the essence of heroism.’” Our honorees believed they could make a difference—and did.”
“Although our County’s career and volunteer fire and rescue personnel are outstanding, they can’t be everywhere at once,” said County Councilmember Phil Andrews, who chairs the Council’s Public Safety Committee. “The Everyday Heroes honored today saved lives through their quick and selfless actions. They are role models and deserve the admiration and thanks of all County residents.”
Fire Chief Richard Bowers served as the master of ceremonies and read the descriptions of each of the heroic deeds. He said, “The fire service and the community are strengthened by the willingness of Everyday Heroes honored today to share and give the best of themselves in often the most difficult and challenging circumstances.”
Leggett, Berliner, Andrews and Bowers recognized the following individuals for their heroic actions in the following incidents:
(1) On Friday, June 24, 2011, Mr. Oliver Manuel, a Maryland-National Capital Park Police Commission employee, noticed smoke coming from a house in the White Oak area. He quickly gained entry into the house and assisted the residents, an elderly woman and young child, to safety.
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(2) On Tuesday, October 4, 2011, Mr. Jeff Black, an employee of Fire and Life Safety America, was working at the Extended Stay America Hotel in Gaithersburg and heard the fire alarm sounding in one of the units. He quickly grabbed a fire extinguisher to put out the fire and rescued the elderly occupants, including one who depended upon a wheelchair for mobility.
(3) On Saturday, September 3, 2011, a referee for an Olney Boys and Girls Club Labor Day Tournament game collapsed on a soccer field at Farquhar Middle School in Olney. Sixteen-year-old junior referee Duncan Seguin quickly went into action and began Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and chest compressions with the help of two parents on the sidelines. The referee was defibrillated twice in the medic unit on the way to the hospital and survived in part due to the quick response of Duncan Sequin, parent and Physical Education teacher Ms. Lindsey Young and Chris Trainer, a parent and special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).