The unsung heroes in the Spokane region were honored last week at the annual Red Cross Hometown Heroes event, Thursday, Nov. 15 at Northern Quest Resort and Casino.
Representatives from numerous cities were in attendance, along with families and friends of those nominated for an award.
Giving the event’s welcome statement was Spokane Mayor David Condon, who thanked each of the award winners for their actions in a larger-than-life scenario.
“They exemplify what makes our community our town,” Condon said.
Those receiving the honors, Condon said, represent the values and character of the Spokane region, helping to form a stronger community through selfless actions.
“Working together, we truly will make this community our city, our town,” he said.
Board members from the Red Cross John Caskey, Col. Thomas Roshetko and Airway Heights Fire Chief Mitch Metzger led the presentation of awards and flags to each of the award recipients.
Among those honored included Airway Heights Fire Department member Chandler Tuscany. He was nominated by Col. Brian Newberry, Commander of the 92nd Air Refueling Wing at Fairchild Air Force Base. While on a commercial flight, the flight crew asked if anyone had medical training. Tuscany had previously taken Emergency Medical Training courses and was certified in CPR and operating an Automated External Defibrillator. He was directed to the back of the plane, where a woman was having a medical situation requiring CPR. The plane made an emergency landing with Tuscany continuing to aid the woman, who was then transferred to a medical crew on the ground.
Tuscany is a Senior Airman in the Air Force and is currently serving the first of a six-month tour of duty overseas.
Throughout the event, local heroism and facing the odds were obvious from each award recipient. From military members offering help to those in the right place at the right time, the region’s charitable nature was on display.
“They all say I just did what anyone else would do,” KREM news anchor Randy Shaw said. “As a newsman, I can tell you that’s not true.”
Receiving the Spirit of the Red Cross Award was Phil Haugen, general manager of Northern Quest. The award is given to a member of the community who fits with the core values of the Red Cross: selflessness, compassion and a commitment to improving the community by helping those in need.
“Just by seeing this room right now, you know Spokane is a great community and is heavily involved in the charities and supports each other,” Haugen said. “It’s one of the best places to live in the entire world.”
James Eik can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.