AAA Honors Seven Elementary School Students on Capitol Hill with 2011 Lifesaving Medal for Their Heroic Actions

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 20, 2011

School Safety Patrollers receive prestigious award for saving the life of someone else while on duty

Troy GreenAAA honored seven elementary students on Capitol Hill with the 2011 AAA Lifesaving Medal for their selfless and courageous actions that saved the lives of others. The patrollers received the AAA Lifesaving Medals in a ceremony at the Rayburn House Office Building.

These heroes are among an exclusive group of 399 students who have been awarded with the AAA Lifesaving Medal – the highest honor that can be bestowed on a patroller – since 1949. Whether it was stepping into oncoming traffic to pull a fellow student from the path of a distracted driver or preventing an adult from entering a crosswalk as a vehicle approached, each honoree’s impressive display of leadership, poise, situational awareness and quick, decisive action helped those who they served avoid serious injury or death. Today’s ceremony highlighted a three-day event in Washington, D.C., celebrating the patrollers’ brave actions that included a tour of the U.S. Capitol and an exclusive, behind-the-scenes event with the FBI.

The seven students receiving this year’s AAA Lifesaving Medal include:

Evan Siegel – Age 11

Salmon Creek Elementary School, Vancouver, WA

Evan saved a seven-year-old girl from being hit by an oncoming car. While at his morning post in December 2010, Evan noticed a car approaching the intersection. The car was driven by a teenager who was texting and totally unaware that the little girl had entered the crosswalk without permission. Evan reacted quickly by putting his crosswalk stick in front of girl and pulling her to safety. At the time the car was 10-12 feet away from her and the driver was not slowing down. Evan’s courage and quick actions are to thank for keeping this young girl safe.

Paul Hardin – Age 11

Canterbury Woods Elementary School, Annandale, VA

On the afternoon of February 2, 2011, Paul averted a tragedy by preventing an adult female pedestrian from stepping out into oncoming traffic. When the pedestrian approached the crosswalk, Paul verbally warned her to stop. She ignored Paul’s warning and continued walking into the crosswalk at which time Paul stepped off the sidewalk and grasped the woman’s arm to prevent her from crossing. An approaching car was within five to eight feet of the crosswalk. Paul put the safety of a parent before his own in his heroic effort to avert a dangerous situation.

Kamryn Mendell – Age 10

Fox Chapel Elementary School, Germantown, MD

During morning patrol duties on September 28, 2010, Kamryn immediately reacted when she realized that a first grade student was beginning to walk into the pathway of a school bus that was turning into the school’s bus loop. Kamryn and her partner were holding back students from crossing when Kamryn’s partner had to step away to remove a cone to allow the bus to enter the loop. Kamryn kept the children from crossing with one hand and reached out to grab the first grader who was now four to five feet in front of the bus. The bus driver didn’t see him and continued driving into the loop. Kamryn’s fast thinking and immediate actions averted a certain life-threatening injury.

Marisha Little – Age 10, Talyn Underwood – Age 10, Sierra Walters – Age 11

Ranson Elementary School, Ranson, WV

Marisha and Sierra worked together to save the life of a kindergarten student who wandered away from the school heading toward a major road crossing. This life saving incident that occurred on January 18, 2011 was the first of two that Marisha Little took part in at Ranson Elementary. The patrollers remembered seeing the student walking alone away from the school and became worried when they no longer had him in sight. After alerting her safety patrol advisor, Sierra left her post to find him. Sierra found him and brought him back to the post where she instructed him to stand behind Marisha. Shortly after, he darted into the street in the path of an oncoming car when he saw his aunt approaching the school area. Marisha jumped into action, grabbed him and pulled him back to the sidewalk. Their keen awareness and quick thinking brought him back to school and prevented him from being hit by the car.

Less than two weeks later, Marisha and Talyn were credited with the second life saving incident at Ranson Elementary School. On January 31, 2011, they prevented a second grade student from being struck by a moving vehicle. The student was playing around, talking to his friends while running backwards into oncoming traffic. Marisha and Talyn noticed that the driver of the vehicle closest to the student was looking in the other direction. Marisha and Talyn screamed loudly to alert the student and at the same time worked their way toward him. Talyn reached him first and pulled him by his jacket from the direct path of the moving car. Both students were very quick to respond and didn’t think about their own safety in their effort to save their fellow student.

Jake Vowell – Age 11

George B. Carpenter Elementary School, Park Ridge, IL

Jake is credited with saving the life of a six-year-old student on February 2, 2010. Jake was on morning patrol duty helping children on their way to school to safely cross Elm Street at Broadway. Two cars failed to stop at the stop sign when turning west on Elm from Broadway and that’s when Jake noticed the young girl attempting to cross the street. He bravely went out into the street and pulled her back to safety. Jake’s dedication and awareness put him in a position to save this young girl from harm.

For 91 years, the AAA School Safety Patrol program has served as a model for improving and promoting traffic safety around school zones. More than 600,000 students from 31,000 schools nationwide volunteer their time to help keep their fellow students safe while also fostering citizenship, leadership skills and community involvement.

Former AAA School Safety Patrol members include Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden as well as several Supreme Court Justices, U.S. Senators and Representatives, governors and U.S. Olympic gold medalists.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

 

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