Friday, May 25, 2018
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Safety group honors heroes from 2004


Jessica Phillips was honored for saving Dionna Roberts from drowning in February, 2004.


Jessica Phillips was hanging onto a ladder of an indoor swimming pool with a friend in February, 2004, when they spotted something on the bottom of the 7-foot-deep pool.

"We didn't really know what it was," Jessica, a 15-year-old Bowsher High School student, said. "We sure didn't think it was a person."

Jessica, then 14, swam down to investigate. The object in the pool at the Quality Inn in Maumee turned out to be 7-year-old Dionna Roberts. Jessica grabbed her by her T-shirt and lugged her to the surface.

Last night, Jessica was one of five people who received a heroism award from the Safety Council of Northwest Ohio during a dinner at the Pinnacle, 1772 Indian Wood Circle, Maumee.

Twenty other men and women from around the region were given Good Samaritan awards. In its 38th year, the program is believed to be the second-oldest in the country intended to salute people who intervene to help others.

Also receiving a heroism award was Chris Elling of Napoleon, who saved Earl Butcher of Defiance from drowning in a pond on July 1, 2004.

Mr. Elling was driving by the Butcher residence when he saw Mr. Butcher's wife, Margaret, running across the yard, and noticed Mr. Butcher, who has Alzheimer's disease, in the pond.

"He jumped out in a flash, and he was in that water," Mrs. Butcher said, adding that several other cars had gone by without stopping.

Other heroism award recipients were:

●Patricia Rupert of Grand Rapids, Ohio, who pulled Jillian Badenhop out of a burning car after an accident on Nov. 20, 2004.

●Sandusky Fire Capt. Jeff Ferrell and Firefighter Keith Salinski, who rescued 3-year-old twins and a 4-year-old from a burning house on Dec. 23, 2004.

Good Samaritan Awards were given recognition for life-saving actions on behalf of another to:

●Jeanne Mueller, who saved David Swatzlander from sudden cardiac arrest on Sept. 30, 2004.

●Kelly Nordin, who saved Jeannene McKinney from choking on a piece of food on Jan. 28, 2004.

●Doug and Jessica Cassavar, siblings who saved their disabled school bus driver and fellow riders from a potential accident and summoned help on March 15, 2004.

●Mark W. Lyons, who kept Mariena Miles from going into shock from a large cut in her right arm on June 6, 2004.

●Dennis Blakely, Jeff Carr, Steve Henry, Marty Migot, Barry Nickerson, Dave Schwind, Dale Wuokko, Kevin Zellers, and Tim Zunk, who saved Amanda Zesing from drowning in a pond and sudden cardiac arrest on July 29, 2004.

●Aaron Budzenski and Sharlene Toth, who saved Theresa Kubiak from choking on a piece of food on Aug. 20, 2004.

●Patty Hall, who rescued Nadine VanDervoort from underneath several shelves of heavy broken glass on Sept. 1, 2004.

●Rick Rettig, who saved an unconscious Perrysburg High School student from sudden cardiac arrest on Sept. 23, 2004.

●Betsy Ducey, who saved Randy McQuillin after he fell 30 feet on Sept. 24, 2004.

●Elizabeth Neeb, who saved a 2-year-old child from drowning on Oct. 16, 2004.

Certificates of appreciation were given in recognition for actions above and beyond the call of duty to:

●Sgt. Chris Farrington, who helped Jill Wiemken and her German shepherd, "Sarge," who had fallen though ice and was trapped in a pond on Jan. 24, 2003.

●Lt. Jeffery Besase and Firefighters Tony Hague and Jon-Paul P. Thibert, who aided William Bender, who was unconscious in a burning house, on March 28, 2004.

●Richelle Danko, a lifeguard who saved 2-year-old Drake Bryant from drowning at Maumee Bay State Park on June 9, 2004.

●Officers Catherine Harrigan and Vicki Schramm, who saved a person attempting suicide from choking on a shoe lace on Sept. 21, 2004.

●Firefighter/paramedics Doug Born, Dean Boyers, David A. Hatfield, Brian Lisowski, Lt. Chris Nye, and Lt. Scott Smith, who rescued Firefighter Mike Motter from being trapped under a collapsed and burning brick wall on Sept. 22, 2004.

●Sandusky Battalion Fire Chief Mike Yost, who helped save three children who were unconscious and trapped in a burning house on Dec. 23, 2004.

Contact Elizabeth A. Shack at:

or 419-724-6050.

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