PLAINS TWP. — The “heroes” sat quietly waiting for their names to be called.
• Two neighbors who saw flames and smoke and ran into the burning house to save a woman and her wheelchair-bound husband.
• A woman who welcomes abandoned and abused animals to her farm and cares for them until they are adopted or pass away.
• A woman who performed CPR on a man who collapsed in church and gave him a six-month extension on life.
There were several others. All were honored Wednesday at the American Red Cross fifth annual Heroes Breakfast at the East Mountain Inn.
Ivan Berrios, 41, and Adam Davidick, 34, received the Adult Good Samaritan Award. They said that when they saw the fire on their street in Hazle Township, they reacted.
“Hopefully, my neighbors would do the same for me,” Davidick said. “This is a nice award, but we didn’t expect it. We did what had to be done.”
Berrios said he didn’t run into the burning building for publicity.
“Anybody else would have done the same thing,” he said. “I feel very proud today, but when somebody needs help, you help.”
Berrios has five daughters and one son. He said he didn’t want his children to find out somebody died in the neighborhood.
“We all need an angel to be there when we need one,” he said. “God is everywhere.”
Berrios and Davidick said that when they went into the house, the woman was struggling to move her husband in his motorized wheelchair. They said the chair’s batteries were dead, so they literally dragged the man and his chair to safety.
Marge Bart, owner of Blue Chip Animal Farms Animal Refuge, a 35-acre sanctuary in Dallas for animals who are abused, sick or without a home, received the Animal Hero Award. Bart said she was honored to be one of the recipients.
“I don’t think animals should have to pay a price for what humans do,” she said. “Our goal to see that they get a great home.”
Bart has operated the all-volunteer Blue Chip Farms for 10 years and now has 230 animals living on site. If an animal is not adopted, Bart allows it to live out its life safely and peacefully. Blue Chip does not euthanize.
Loretta Amico, 60, of Pittston, received the Medical Hero Award. She was attending Mass at Our Lady of the Eucharist Church when a man collapsed. He was not breathing and had no pulse. She immediately performed CPR until paramedics arrived.
The man survived, but Amico said she learned he died on Friday.
“The family called me and thanked me for giving him six more months of life,” she said.
Other recipients were:
• Spirit of Heroism Award, presented to an individual or group that reflects the mission of the Red Cross, saving lives and making a strong, positive impact on the safety of the community: Gina Pocceschi Boyle and Jaclyn Pocceschi Mosely, founders, of Fallen Officers Remembered received the award.
• Corporate Good Citizen: Lord & Taylor for its contributions to the American Red Cross, Ruth’s Place, Jonathan Grula Foundation, St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Youth Center, Bennet House and Cancer Awareness. The company donated more than $150,000 in goods for those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
• Police Chief Mike Morresi of Beaver Meadows: The Law Enforcement Award for saving a 50-year-old woman’s life.
• Hazleton Fire Chief Donald Leshko, a career firefighter: The Fire Safety Award for his commitment to public safety and the safety of all firefighters.
Sherry N. Williams, Red Cross executive director, said that during 2012, the Wyoming Valley Chapter performed 49 disaster operations, assisted 55 families, handled 96 military emergencies, conducted 571 blood drives and provided health and safety training to 15,983 individuals. The Red Cross also provided 480 community services such as disaster preparedness training for youth and senior citizens. The chapter is aided by 802 volunteers.
Adrian Grieve, Northeast Pennsylvania regional emergency services officer, spoke about his recent Red Cross experience in Boston, where he managed the Family Assistance Center in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.