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Recognition Awards

 

2015 LIFESAVING AWARD HONOREES

Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad will recognize six individuals for unselfish service to their fellow citizens and family members on August 21, 2015, at the Iowa State Fair. The Governor's Lifesaving Awards Ceremony recognizes citizens who helped a friend or neighbor in critical need of assistance, and in turn, became everyday heroes. There are four categories in which honorees are recognized: lifesaving with valor, lifesaving, meritorious service, and outstanding service as listed below:

  • Lifesaving With Valor: Award is presented to those persons who, while risking their own life, saved the lives of others;
  • Lifesaving: Award is given to those who have saved the lives of others without apparent risk to their own life;
  • Meritorious Service: Award is presented to those individuals who have rendered expeditious service in a time of emergency.
  • Outstanding Service: Award is presented to persons who have performed a courageous act in an attempt to save an individual who was in danger of losing his or her life or an unselfish service rendered in time of emergency and not necessarily life threatening.

Listed below is a synopsis of the type of award and each person's heroic actions. Photos of the recipients will be posted as soon as possible following the ceremony.

 
Award Honorees
Zachary Nelson -- Outstanding Service -- Des Moines, Iowa
Daniel Bohr and Jake Heisler -- Lifesaving -- Cresco, Iowa
Brett Johnson -- Lifesaving -- Anita, Iowa
Renee Johnson - Camanche, Iowa, and Brian Shields - Albany, Illinois -- Lifesaving
Michael Vandenberg -- Lifesaving -- West Burlington, Iowa
Scott Cherne - Guttenberg, Iowa, and Jeffrey Lincoln - Colesburg, Iowa -- Lifesaving with Valor -- Webster City, Iowa
Larry Koos -- Lifesaving with Valor -- La Motte, Iowa
   

Zachary Nelson -- Outstanding Service -- Des Moines, Iowa

When Zachary Nelson arrived home from work at 4:00 in the afternoon of January 9, 2015, he noticed smoke coming from the upper portion of his neighbor’s home. He knew that Darrel Chesmore lived there, and he knew that Mr. Chesmore needed a wheelchair, which meant he would need help to evacuate the home safely.   Zachary ran into the home, assisted Mr. Chesmore into his wheelchair, moved Mr. Chesmore outdoors to safety, checked the home to be sure no one else was there, and gave Mr. Chesmore a blanket to help endure the 13-degree temperature until the fire department arrived.

Thanks to Zachary’s initiative and quick response, everyone was evacuated safely from the home.

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Daniel Bohr and Jake Heisler -- Lifesaving -- Cresco, Iowa

Around 9:00 a.m. on March 17th, 2014, Brad Lodge was working construction in Lime Springs, when he collapsed.  Workers nearby called 9-1-1, and rushed to assist.  While Jake Heisler made his way down from scaffolding,  Dan Bohr began chest compressions, and when Jake reached the ground, he took over for him.  

First responders arrived on scene and took over lifesaving measures. The compressions continued while they readied the Automated External Defibrillator (AED).  Mr. Lodge did not respond to the first few AED shocks. When the ambulance arrived, the paramedics immediately took him to the hospital as they continued their work.  Mr. Lodge survived, thanks to the quick thinking of Daniel Bohr and Jake Heisler, who immediately began resuscitation attempts.

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Brett Johnson -- Lifesaving -- Anita, Iowa

The roads were icy on November 15, 2014, when Zachary Thompson was driving his Chevy Trailblazer just south of Elk Horn.  Mr. Thompson lost control of the vehicle on a patch of ice, and it slid down a steep ditch.  He was partially ejected from the vehicle. When Brett Johnson saw the vehicle in the ditch, he immediately went to render aid, and could see that the driver was wearing a hooded sweatshirt. The top of the hood was caught on the vehicle and the bottom of the hood was caught around Zachary’s neck, which prevented circulation. Brett moved quickly to remove that part of the hood and restore circulation. Thanks to his quick thinking and decisive action, Brett Johnson was able save the life of Zachary Thompson.

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Renee Johnson - Camanche, Iowa, and Brian Shields - Albany, Illinois -- Lifesaving

While he was fishing on the Mississippi River near Clinton/Camanche, around 4:00 p.m. on August 30, 2014, Robert Snowden’s dog, Shelby, fell overboard.   When Mr. Snowden tried to rescue her in the strong current, he fell overboard as well.  He held the dog in one hand and held onto the boat with the other hand, and the current took them downstream, where the boat lodged, and Mr. Snowden and his dog were pinned out of sight of others on the river.  Fortunately, another group of boaters passing by noticed an unoccupied boat and then saw Mr. Snowden hanging on. Brian Shields was able to pull the group’s boat alongside Mr. Snowden’s.  It took all three – Brian Shields, Renee Johnson, and off-duty police officer Dean Ottens – to pull Mr. Snowden and his dog Shelby into Brian’s boat. If not for the actions of these great citizens, Mr. Snowden likely would have succumbed to exhaustion and been pulled under the barge. 

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Michael Vandenberg -- Lifesaving -- West Burlington, Iowa

Randy Iserman was on his break at work at about 3:00 a.m. on November 8, 2014 when he became sick, and realized that he had a blockage in his airway.  He tried to dislodge it on his own but could not do so. He summoned help from supervisor Michael Vandenberg, who quickly performed the Heimlich maneuver on Mr. Iserman.  It successfully dislodged the object and Mr. Iserman could breathe again.


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Scott Cherne - Guttenberg, Iowa, and Jeffrey Lincoln - Colesburg, Iowa -- Lifesaving with Valor

Employees at the Elkader Veterinary Clinic were working on Scott Cherne’s farm, south west of Guttenberg, on a cold, clear morning on November 25, 2014.  They called the clinic for some additional vaccines, and clinic employee Tiffany Mueller, headed to the Cherne Farm. When she had not arrived, Jeff Lincoln went to look for her.  As he drove over a bridge not far from the farm, he noticed something odd in his rearview mirror.  It was tire tracks leading off the roadway. Jeff quickly turned around and found a pickup upside down in the creek below the bridge.  When he yelled down to the vehicle and heard nothing, he went back to the farm to call 9-1-1. He and Scott Cherne returned to the bridge and both entered chest deep water and tried to open the door to the partially submerged vehicle. They heard a faint cry for help. The men were able to bring a tractor and loader, and they hooked the chain onto the truck and lifted it out of the water. The water rushed from the cab of the vehicle, and they broke the window and pulled Ms. Mueller from the vehicle. She was taken by ambulance to the local hospital, with a core body temperature of 84 degrees Fahrenheit. They estimated she had been submerged in the frigid water for 45-60 minutes. Ms. Mueller was later released from the hospital, fully recovered. Scott Cherne and Jeffrey Lincoln’s courageous and selfless acts saved the life of Tiffany Mueller.

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Larry Koos -- Lifesaving with Valor -- La Motte, Iowa

The Jackson County Board of Supervisors had their usual meeting on September 9, 2014 at 10:50 a.m.  Local resident Francis Glaser was on the agenda to address the Board regarding property tax concerns in an ongoing disagreement with the County. As the discussion became heated, one supervisor noticed that Mr. Glaser had a gun. County Assessor Deb Lane was the first target, and Mr. Glaser shot in her direction as she was leaving the room.  Meanwhile Supervisor Larry Koos rushed toward Mr. Glaser, grabbed him from behind in a bear hug, and forced him to the ground near the door, which was covered with shattered glass from the first shot.  Two other men also jumped onto Mr. Glaser.  A second shot rang out, but this time, it killed Mr. Glaser.  It also narrowly missed Larry Koos, who was holding Mr. Glaser down, and the broken glass on the floor caused serious cuts to Larry Koos’s wrist.


There is no doubt that Supervisor Larry “Buck” Koos saved the lives of several people attending the Board of Supervisor’s meeting, along with employees, and innocent citizens conducting business at the court house. The actions Mr. Koos took that day were truly brave and taken without regard for his own life. His actions isolated the attacker to one room, and saved the lives of many that day.

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Created: 02-07-2006
Last Updated: 08-15-2013 (JGL)