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Recognition Awards



Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad will recognize ten individuals for unselfish service to their fellow citizens on August 19, 2016, 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
Katie Boven -- Outstanding Service -- Eldridge Missouri
Dennis Murphy -- Outstanding Service -- Grand Junction, Iowa
Jesse Bannor -- Meritorious -- Des Moines, Iowa; and Damian Bell -- Lifesaving -- Pleasant Hill, Iowa
Michael Hocking -- Lifesaving -- Coon Rapids, Iowa
Barbara Jorgensen -- Lifesaving -- Harlan, Iowa
Craig Smith -- Lifesaving -- Mount Vernon, Iowa; and Stephen Neal -- Lifesaving -- Mount Vernon, Iowa
Travis Moen -- Lifesaving with Valor -- Janesville, Iowa; and Ryan Siems -- Lifesaving with Valor -- Waverly, Iowa

Katie Boven -- Outstanding Service -- Eldridge, Missouri

On October 1st, 2015 at approximately 4:40 in the afternoon, Shilow Boven and her daughter, Katie, were traveling on I-29 in western Iowa.  Katie was the front seat passenger as her mother drove at the posted speed limit of 70 M. P. H. Katie noticed her mother became quiet and could see her head starting to shake and her eyes rolling back.  Katie grabbed the steering wheel, crawled over the console and onto her mother’s lap to gain better control of the vehicle.  Katie reached down and pulled her mother’s leg off the accelerator.  With the vehicle still moving forward, Katie steered the vehicle into the median to slow down, eventually stopping in the median.  Katie then exited the vehicle and waved her hands at approaching motorists.  As a result of these actions, emergency medical providers were dispatched to provide care for Shilow Boven.  Thanks to Katie’s response, she and her mother avoided serious injuries.

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Dennis Murphy -- Outstanding Service -- Grand Junction, Iowa

On Thursday, November 12th, 2015, Adrienne Smith, a volunteer with People for Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) of Greene County, was walking a large stray canine.  During the walk, the canine began nipping Adrienne’s legs and feet.  The aggressive behavior escalated tearing her gloves and coat.  The canine’s hold on her coat was causing her to lose balance.  She suffered a bite to her forearm and scratches to her face.  Adrienne’s coat and fleece shirt were torn from her body during the struggle.  Just as Adrienne was becoming exhausted and fearing for her life, Dennis Murphy stopped his vehicle along the roadway grabbing and wrestling the canine to the ground, securing the animal until local police arrived to take control of the situation.  Thanks to the quick actions of Dennis Murphy more serious injuries were prevented.   

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Jesse Bannor -- Meritorious -- Des Moines, Iowa; and Damian Bell - Lifesaving -- Pleasant Hill, Iowa

On February 14, 2016, shortly after 10:00 AM, Rick Rauzi was snowshoeing and taking wildlife photographs at Lake Ahquabi in Warren County.  Rick ventured too near open water and fell through the ice and began shouting for help.  Two ice fishermen, Jesse Bannor and Damian Bell, heard Rick’s call for help and drove around the lake to help.  When they arrived, Jesse Bannor quickly accessed a closed area to get a canoe and maneuver it over the fence to Damian Bell.   Damian used the canoe to enter the water, using his hands to paddle toward Rick.  Once he made his way to Rick, Damian attempted to lift Rick into the canoe.  When this was unsuccessful, Damian used a rope to secure Rick to the canoe until emergency responders arrived.  Thanks to the quick response by Jesse and Damian, Rick survived the icy water.

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Michael Hocking -- Lifesaving -- Coon Rapids, Iowa

On August 20, 2015, at approximately 12:45 P.M., while serving as the guest speaker at the Coon Rapids Rotary Club, Jason Rosenbeck suffered a sudden cardiac arrest.  Michael Hocking and Chris Goodwin both immediately sprang into action.  While another member of the Rotary Club retrieved the AED from another part of the building, Michael and Chris began CPR.  Once the AED arrived, Michael and Chris used the device and after several cycles of CPR and three AED interventions, Jason’s heart started and he was transported to a local hospital. Thanks to the quick actions of Michael Hocking and Chris Goodwin, Jason Rosenbeck survived the sudden cardiac event.

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Barbara Jorgensen -- Lifesaving -- Harlan, Iowa

On December 28, 2015 at approximately 9:30 A.M., Barbara Jorgensen was shoveling show outside her home when she noticed smoke coming from one of the front windows of a neighboring home.  Barbara believed at least one resident, Theo Behrens, was home.  Rather than attempt to open the front door because of the significant smoke, Barbara went directly to a window she believed to be Theo’s bedroom.  Barbara pounded on the window and wall until the curtain moved and she saw Theo’s face.  Barbara could tell she had woken him up and began telling him to break the window and get out of the house due to the fire.  Theo did break the window and handed his three year old son, Ambomitis, to Barbara before stepping out the window himself.  Without Barbara’s quick actions, Theo and Ambomitis likely would not have survived. 

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Craig Smith -- Lifesaving -- Mount Vernon, Iowa; Stephen Neal -- Lifesaving -- Mount Vernon, Iowa

On March 24th, 2016 a group of community members were enjoying their daily coffee club at Bauman’s Clothing Store in Mount Vernon, Iowa.  Craig Smith and Stephen Neal noticed Adrian Ringold had become unconscious.  They moved him from his chair onto the floor and immediately assessed the need for CPR.  While others summoned emergency personnel, Craig and Stephen began CPR.  Stephen recalled his most recent training and began singing the Bee Gee’s song “Staying Alive” to ensure the tempo of CPR was optimal.  After several minutes members of the Mount Vernon Police Department arrived with an AED.  The combination of CPR and the AED revived Adrian before he was transported to a local hospital.  Thanks to the quick actions of Craig Smith and Stephen Neal, Adrian survived this sudden cardiac arrest. 

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Travis Moen -- Lifesaving with Valor -- Janesville, Iowa; and, Ryan Siems -- Lifesaving with Valor -- Waverly, Iowa

On April 6th, 2015 shortly after 2:00 PM, Travis Moen and Ryan Siems were working in a driveway at 326 Bellefontaine in Evansdale, Iowa.  Wendy Smith and her children were residents at this home.  Wendy suddenly ran from the house yelling that there was a fire and she needed help to get her children out of the home.  Without hesitation, Travis and Ryan dropped their tools and ran toward the burning home.  Both men entered the duplex and ran upstairs to the second floor in search of two children.  They found 3 year old Cody hiding in a bedroom in the rear of the home.  Unable to locate 5 year old Callie, they returned to the main floor, despite the intense heat and smoke.  Callie was located in the living room.  Both Callie and Cody were reunited with their mother outside as the Evansdale Fire Department arrived to respond to the significant structure fire.  Without the unselfish actions of Ryan Siems and Travis Moen, Cody and Callie likely would have not survived the fire.

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