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Community Heroes

​​​​​​Each year Emergency Services gives out Community Heroes awards to citizens who have gone above and beyond to help people in need. 

A Community Hero is any Good Samaritan who selflessly comes to the aid of a person in crisis. This may involve providing life saving measures in an emergency but it may also include simple gestures, like offering a helping hand or using a fire extinguisher.  ​

The Community Heroes program is a simply way to recognize​ some of the amazing people that make Lethbridge such a great place to live. ​​​

2016 Community Heroes Award Recipients​​

(L to R) Fire Chief Rich Hildebrand, Bob McMann and Mayor Chris Spearman.​

Bob McMann
Over 26 years of dedicated public service with Lethbridge School District 51, Bob McMann has always made safety a priority. Regardless of the ask or need, Bob has made his word his bond. Of all the years the Fire Department has work with Bob they have never had to send follow-up letters or emails. He has always been on top of any needed changes, making sure students and staff were kept safe. Upon his retirement, the Lethbridge Fire Department honoured Bob for his hard work and dedication. ​​​​​

(L to R) Fire Chief Rich Hildebrand, Nathan Ericksen and Mayor Chris Spearman

Nathan Ericksen 
While driving into the Costco parking lot one day, Nathan notice a car smoking. There was smoke coming from the dash so he ran to the Costco gas bar to get an extinguisher to put out the fire. He also opened the hood to disconnect the battery – smart thinking on his part. When fire crews arrived, the fire was already extinguished thanks to Nathan's quick response to the situation.​​

(L to R) Fire Chief Rich Hildebrand, Corey Hawes, Mayor Chris Spearman

Corey Hawes
Corey was heading home after a day at work when he saw smoke coming for the back of a Volkswagen. When the driver of vehicle asked for help, Corey had just the tools. Being in his work truck, he had quick access to a heavy duty fire extinguisher. When the Fire Department arrived, Corey had already extinguished the fire preventing any further damage. ​

(L to R) Fire Chief Rich Hildebrand, Zach Olsen and Mayor Chris Spearman 

Zach Olsen​​

Zach was home alone with his Grandmother when a pizza box left on the stove burner caused a kitchen fire. Zack's Grandmother has mobility issues so Zach took quick action to help. He put out the fire with water, closed the door to his Grandma's room to block her from the smoke, removed the pets from the home and called 911. When Fire crews arrived on the scene they were extremely impressed with all the steps this young boy had taken to protect everyone around him.​

(L to R) ​​​​Fire Chief Rich Hildebrand, Mark Robinson, Mayor Chris Spearman, EMS Operations Officer Lynn Villiger

Mark Robinson
Mark was out shopping for groceries when he heard someone fall to the ground. He looked over and saw that a lady was in medical distress. Without hesitation he went over to assist. Mark stayed with the patient to provide comfort and to reassure her that she would be safe until EMS arrived.​​

(L to R) Fire Chief Rich Hildebrand, Eduardo Badilla, David Mann, Mayor Chris Spearman, Bob Feist, Terry Miechkota, EMS Operations Officer Lynn Villiger. 

Eduardo Badilla, David Mann, Bob Feist, Terry Miechkota
In February of this year EMS and Fire crews responded to a business in Lethbridge for a person in cardiac arrest. This business has a great system in place in case of emergencies. In this instance an urgent call was announced for a 'Man Down'. Some employees had initially assisted by placing the patient in the recovery position. Terry Miechkota immediately called 911. Bob Feist came over to offer assistance and assessed the patient. He determined that this person did not have a pulse and began doing chest compressions. Eduardo Badilla came over to help do CPR. While this was underway David Mann, who is the Advanced First Aid person on staff, came over to help and brought along an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). The group worked as an effective team until EMS arrived and assumed the resuscitation. As soon as EMS and Fire crews took over, the AED advised that a shock should be given. The paramedics defibrillated the patient and continued with CPR for the next few minutes. The patient regained a pulse at the scene. Crews continued to work on him in the back of the ambulance. Thanks to the collective efforts of all of these incredible people the outcome was very positive.​​

(L to R) Fire Chief Rich Hildebrand, Whitney Indenbosch, Mayor Chris Spearman, EMS Operations Officer Lynn Villiger  

Whitney Indenbosch, Patrick Hinds, William Brass
In the summer of 2016 there was a very serious car crash outside of the city. The details of this crash are not pleasant by any standards. Regardless, help was needed immediately but it would take emergency crews extra time because of the distance to the scene. Three very courageous people stopped to offer assistance. It takes an unbelievable step outside of your comfort zone to see a scene like this and help under very difficult conditions. These three people deserve to be recognized for their courage and should know that the family and the people in the community appreciate their efforts more than they can ever know.

(L to R) Fire Chief Rich Hildebrand, Nicole Ell, 911 Operator Jodi Realini, Mayor Chris Spearman, EMS Operations Officer Lynn Villiger​

Nicole Ell
Two years ago a 13 year old girl connected with the 911 Dispatch Center because her mother had collapsed at home and was now unconscious on the floor. It was extremely busy that evening and no local ambulances were immediately available. As a result, a Fire truck with Advanced Care Paramedics was dispatched along with an ambulance from outside of Lethbridge. This young girl stayed on the line with the dispatcher for 11 very difficult minutes going between helping her mom and following direction from 911 operator, Jodi. In Jodi’s words, “The little girl - whom I will never forget - was the most amazing caller ever. She stayed with her mom and her little brother, gave accurate information and performed all instructions required of her.  She deserves to be nominated and I know that she did everything right and everything she could for her mom.”

(L to R) Fire Chief Rich Hildebrand, Francesco Palmarin, Kelsey Gillette, Mayor Chris Spearman, EMS Operations Officer Lynn Villiger 

Kelsey Gillette, Jared Evans, Shilo Zeller, Francesco Palmarin - In December of 2015 Fire Captain/Paramedic Glenn Racette nominate a group of people who did an extraordinary job of resuscitating a person at their work place. This group of people initiated CPR as well as rescue breathing. In addition, they delivered two shocks with an AED and continued CPR. When EMS and Fire crews arrived they assessed the patient who now had a strong carotid pulse and was breathing spontaneously. By the time Glenn finished his shift he checked back in on the patient who was being transferred from the emergency room to the intensive care unit at the hospital. In Glenn’s words, “This group did all of the right things at the right time for this to work, essentially we did not need to do a heck of a lot”.