“Community Life Saving Award” presentation at City Council meeting
July 13, 2023
“Heroes can be found among us; ordinary individuals who rise to the occasion, demonstrating extraordinary bravery and compassion,” Matthew Buchholz, WhidbeyHealth EMT stated to the full Oak Harbor City Council chamber. “You’ve shown us the truest measure of heroism lies in the act of kindness that we extend to one another.”
On May 14, 2023, four Whidbey Island residents were presented with a dire situation and courageously acted without hesitation. Their act of heroism was publicly recognized on Tuesday, when Matthew Buchholz and Emily Harm of WhidbeyHealth EMS presented these community members with the first ever Community Life Saving Award on behalf of the Whidbey Island Paramedics IAFF Local 5133.
Four brave citizens (Brian Roberts, Seth Foster, Jennifer Carlson, and Corey Baker) found themselves on the scene of an automobile accident on SR-20 in Oak Harbor. One vehicle crossed the center line and hit another vehicle head-on. While those in the other car were not injured, the driver that crossed the line was pinned and unconscious within his vehicle as it was actively catching fire. Before EMS and Fire arrived on scene, these four community members were instrumental in prying open the door and extricating the patient to safety just moments before the car was engulfed in flames. While EMS will never encourage someone to endanger their lives, these citizens went above and beyond anything we would ever imagine having bystanders perform. As Buchholz stated to the Councilpersons, “Their acts of heroism serve as a powerful reminder that heroes are not limited to those who wear a uniform or hold official titles. Heroes can be found among us; ordinary individuals who rise to the occasion, demonstrating extraordinary bravery and compassion.”
WhidbeyHealth would like to join the Whidbey Island Paramedics IAFF Local 5133 in recognizing the bravery and selflessness of Mr. Roberts, Mr. Foster, Ms. Carlson, and Mr. Baker. Your actions inspire us all to do better.