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In true Scout fashion, Tommy Grubs of Sylvania was humble and gracious after receiving the Boy Scouts of America Honor Medal, an award only 2,033 Scouts have received in its 87-year history.
“It's not every day that somebody wins something like that, so I do feel proud,” Mr. Grubs, 19, said. “I don't like to boast about it or anything. I don't think that I'm any more special now.”
The award is given to a Scout who saves or attempts to save someone's life with personal risk to himself. Mr. Grubs of Sylvania's Troop 154 was presented the medal at a ceremony last month.
In July, Mr. Grubs and his friend, Shane Wheatley, were in the first car stopped at a light when two cars crashed in front of them.
“I just jumped out. We just ran and as we're running up, the one car caught on fire. That's the car I ended up going to,” Mr. Grubs said. “I opened up her door. Her legs were messed up really bad. They were all mangled. One of her knee caps was actually gone.”
“If she would have tried to stand up or walk on them, they would have just collapsed.”
Mr. Grubs and Mr. Wheatley performed first aid on the victims until the paramedics arrived and took over. That's when it registered that he had risked his life.
“I didn't really think about each thing until we started doing the first aid,” he said. “Afterwards, I was like, that might have been a bad idea.”
But Mr. Grubs said he is glad he intervened.
“When you saw it, you knew it had to be bad. It's kind of one of those things if I was in one of those situations I would prefer help, so I'd want someone to do the same for me.”
Richard Fisher, executive director of the Erie Shores Council, commended Mr. Grubs for his heroics.
“I am just very proud of the work that Tommy did,” Mr. Fisher said. “It certainly shows a great deal of compassion as well as having the technological skills and courage to be able to go into a situation like that without worrying about his own safety to make sure a complete stranger was going to be OK.”
But Mr. Grubs said it was most important that his actions reflected positively on his troop and the Boy Scouts of America, rather than on him individually.
“It brought a lot of recognition to our area and it's always good to show that what we do learn pays off and was able to be used in a real life situation,” he said.
Mr. Fisher said he hopes Mr. Grubs' action will be a positive example.
“I always wonder when something like that happens how other people in the community would respond,” he said.
“How much nicer our Toledo and our surroundings could be if everyone lived by the Scout Code.”
Contact Sarah Mervosh at:firstname.lastname@example.org 419-724-6050.