In its third announcement of 2021, the Carnegie Hero Fund is proud to recognize 18 civilians who risked their lives for others. Each will receive the Carnegie Medal, North America’s highest honor for civilian heroism.
Among those to be awarded this quarter is John D. Colter, 66, who rushed into his daughter’s home after hearing gunshots and confronted her estranged husband, who had shot and wounded her. As he wrestled over control of the gun, Colter yelled for his daughter to go get help. Minutes later, the gunman shot and killed Colter, and fled.
Also awarded are five men who drowned attempting to save others.
The Carnegie Medal is given throughout the U.S. and Canada to those who enter extreme danger while saving or attempting to save the lives of others. With this announcement, a total of 10,256 Carnegie Medals have been awarded since the Pittsburgh-based Fund’s inception in 1904. Commission Chair Mark Laskow said each of the awardees or their survivors will also receive a financial grant. Throughout the more than 117 years since the Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, more than $43 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.
Ernest Beauparlandand Ronald Rock
On the morning of Feb. 3, 2020, an 83-year-old man who used a wheelchair was trapped on the second story of a burning building after flames broke out on the third floor and the electricity turned off making his motorized chairlift inoperable.
After realizing the Fairhaven, Massachusetts, building was on fire, his daughter, who was on the first floor, and his granddaughter, who was on the second floor, went to Colin G. Jackson and moved him from his bed to the floor of his bedroom. They could not hoist him down the stairs however and yelled out for help.
Ernest “Butch” Beauparland, a 66-year-old retired laborer of New Bedford, Massachusetts, was driving nearby and saw flames. He stopped and ran up the stairway, along with a 58-year-old ferry boat captain of Fairhaven, Ronald Rock, who was also driving nearby and responded.
Beauparland and Rock grasped Jackson under the legs and, backing slowly down the stairs, carried him outside, as fire spread along the ceiling above them. Beauparland and Jackson inhaled smoke, but they recovered.
To nominate someone for the Carnegie Medal, complete a nomination form online or write to the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, 436 Seventh Ave., Suite 1101, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. More information on the Carnegie Medal and the history of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission can be found at carnegiehero.org. Follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/ carnegiehero and Twitter: @carnegie_hero.
The organization does not reveal who nominates individuals for the medal, or the amount of money medal recipients receive.
In addition to Mr. Beauparland and Mr. Rock, several other individuals helped get Mr. Jackson to safety, including Roberta Raymond, Dr. David Fall, and Anthony Cogswell.
Click here to download the entire 10/14/21 issue: 10-14-21 KidsFest
Support local journalism, donate to the Neighb News with PayPal.