Safety forces from Richmond Heights receive Red Cross Lifesaving Award

A police officer who administered first aid for the victim of a gunshot and five members of the Richmond Heights Fire Department have been honored with the American Red Cross Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action.

Richmond Heights Fire Lieutenant John Boos, upper left, firefighters Thomas Fanara, Michael Kocmit, Kevin Moore and Richard Rousch, upper right, Patroman Sean Lawlor, lower right, and Red Cross Regional COO Jorge Martinez, lower left.

On July 24th, they helped save the life of a young man who had accidentally shot himself in the leg.  Patrolman Sean Lawlor arrived on scene and helped apply tourniquets and pressure to the wound.

Shortly thereafter, arriving on the scene were fire lieutenant John Boos and firefighters Thomas Fanara, Michael Kocmit, Kevin Moore and Richard Rousch, all of whom provided life-saving treatment and emergency ambulance transportation to the hospital.

The Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action is awarded to individuals who step up in an emergency situation and help save or sustain a life. Such action exemplifies the mission of the Red Cross – to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.

Lieutenant Boos credited the others for their actions.

“It was a great job by the members on the shift that day to get in there and effectively help with what Patrolman Lawler initiated and continue the same care end expedite the transport to the emergency room in a timely fashion.”

The firefighters credited officer Lawler with doing a great job as the first on the scene, saying he “really stole the show.”

The patrolman called it a team effort, crediting other officers on the scene as well.

Red Cross Regional COO Jorge Martinez, who conducted the virtual ceremony, commended the winners for their willingness to help others in distress.

“Heroes are all around us,” Martinez said. “But they are not common—because to act quickly and decisively during a crisis takes a level of courage reserved only for a chosen few.”

You can watch a recording of the ceremony here.

Police Sergeant honored for saving baby’s life

Awarded Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action

Sergeant Greg Patterson of the Richmond Heights police department was the first to respond, after a disturbing call to 9-1-1 about a baby who had stopped breathing.

“When I received the call, my first thought was to get there as quickly as possible,” said Sergeant Patterson. “When I arrived, the mother ran out the front door and handed the baby to me. When I saw that his face was blue and he wasn’t breathing, my training kicked in.”

He then described the actions he took to bring the baby back.

“I sat down on a chair on the front porch and began chest compressions,” he said. “I then turned the baby over and gave him a few back blows.” That’s when the infant began to respond, as he coughed up some mucous that Sergeant Patterson wiped away.

“I could see that he was starting to breathe again. When I saw the color coming back into his face, I was beyond relieved.”

Richmond Heights Police Sergeant Greg Patterson congratulated by Mike Parks, Regional CEO, American Red Cross of Northern Ohio

Sergeant Patterson has been awarded a Red Cross Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action, which is given to those who step up in an emergency situation and help save or sustain a life. “Sergeant Patterson’s actions exemplify the mission of the American Red Cross to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies,” said Mike Parks, Regional CEO of the Red Cross of Northern Ohio. “He is to be commended for his willingness to help others in distress.”

Sgt. Greg Patterson, Mike Parks, and Kim Riley, Board Chair, Red Cross of Northeast Ohio

“When I arrived, the mother handed the baby to me. When I saw that his face was blue and he wasn’t breathing, my training kicked in.”

Sergeant Greg Patterson

Sergeant Patterson was honored during the June, 2021 meeting of the board of directors of the American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio. He was accompanied by his wife and daughter, along with Chief Thomas Wetzel, Lieutenant Denise DeBiase, and Records Clerk Latrice Evans, who submitted the lifesaving award nomination.

The Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action is one of three awards bestowed by the Red Cross for lifesaving actions. The Certificate of Merit is the highest award given by the Red Cross to an individual or team of individuals who saves or sustains a life by using skills and knowledge learned in an American Red Cross Training Services course.

Records Clerk Latrice Evans, Sgt. Greg Patterson, Lt. Denise DeBiase, and Chief Thomas Wetzel, Richmond Heights Police Department

The Lifesaving Award for Professional Responders is given to an individual, or team of individuals, who saves or sustains a life, outside of a medical setting, as part of their employment or while on duty and had an obligation to respond. 

If you know someone who may qualify for a Red Cross Lifesaving Award, you can nominate that individual or group by using this online form. And you can visit LifesavingAwards.org to learn more.

Sergeant Patterson doesn’t think he acted any differently than any of his fellow officers would have acted when responding to that call.

“I don’t consider myself a hero,” Sergeant Patterson said. “I just happened to be the one to get there first. I am very grateful that I was able to be there to help.”