The American Red Cross has honored 11 heroes from the west Puget Sound region for their dedication to saving others.
The honorees from the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas were recognized at a special Heroes Breakfast Thursday at the Kitsap Conference Center in Bremerton.
Among the honorees are several people from Bremerton and Silverdale.
Bremerton resident Kevin Koski volunteers as an Olympic Mountain Rescue team member. He was honored with the Commitment to Community Award “for his dedication to emergency response.”
Unlike most of the other honorees at the event, Koski’s award doesn’t come for one specific act of heroism, but many. He has been volunteering as a mountain rescuer for four years.
Koski worked on eight missions last year in the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. He was involved in the rescue of missing skiers on Mt. Rainer last January.
When 69-year-old Albert Filosa went missing near Mt. Baker last August, Koski and a partner were the ones who located him three days later.
“It’s really a team effort,” Koski said. “It’s not just one person in our situation going out and finding these people.”
Two sixth-graders from Mountain View Middle School in Bremerton, Seth Hanson and Ashton Topness, received the Youth Heroes Award for taking control of their school bus when the bus driver suffered from a gall bladder attack mid-transit.
Armin Jahr Elementary School teacher Natalie Poss received the Call to Action Award for providing first aid to a student who was accidentally shot in her classroom.
Poss applied direct pressure to 8-year-old Amina Bowman’s gunshot wound and kept the student conscious until medical personnel arrived.
Daryl Matheny, general manager of Gold Mountain Golf Course received the Medical Rescue Award for utilizing an Automated External Defibrillator to help save two men’s lives.
Corpsmen Patrick Barrantes, Blake Hite and Binod Gurung received the Military Heroes Award for performing CPR on a man at Olympic Sports and Soccer Center until paramedics arrived.
Koski said there are more ways to get involved than saving people.
“If they haven’t thought about volunteering before, whatever it is, find what they’re passionate about,” Koski said, “whether it’s church stuff or community stuff … pulling weeds, cleaning up parks … it makes life more fulfilling.”