It takes a heart to be a hero. Each year the American Red Cross in Southeastern Wisconsin recognizes community members who have prevented life-threatening situations from occurring, come to the aid of another or contributed to the safety of Greater Milwaukee through a single act or ongoing activity at the organization’s Brave Hearts event.
This year’s honorees will be recognized during a dinner and ceremony on Thursday, May 7 at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Awards will be presented in six categories: emergency response, community safety, security and resiliency, military hero, animal companion, youth and hero of the year.
“We are inspired by the courage and efforts of the Brave Hearts Heroes,” said Patty Flowers, regional CEO, American Red Cross of Wisconsin. “Each honoree exemplifies the mission of the American Red Cross by providing support to our neighbors, friends and community members, and working to make Milwaukee a better and safer city.”
2015 Extraordinary Heroes
Emergency Response – Captain Christiaan Hoose, Lieutenant Michael Schwade, Firefighter Kenneth Pisarek and Firefighter Anthony Guehlstorf
On Dec. 20, 2014, four Milwaukee firefighters entered an extremely dangerous house fire after hearing reports of children trapped inside. The men initiated a search and rescue operation that successfully retrieved and removed two young children from the dangerous blaze.
Community Safety, Security & Resiliency – Nikki Martin, Otha Brown and Beth Saldana
On March 29, 2014, Martin, Brown and Saldana discovered an unresponsive guest and began performing CPR with the help of an automated external defibrillator. Thanks to their quick actions, they were able to successfully save a life.
Military Hero – Trevor Deboer
On June 26, 2014, officer Deboer helped save a gunshot victim’s life by applying a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. Deboer joined the Milwaukee Police Department in 1998 and is currently deployed as member of the U.S. Army Reserve.
Animal Companion – Jen and Tom Misiewicz
The Misiewiczs are animal lovers with a passion for pit bulls. They volunteer with Brew City Bully Club, a local pit bull advocacy group and rescue. In 2014, they spent eight days working with dogs rescued from the second largest dog-fighting extraction mission in the U.S.
Youth – Emma Paulson
After being diagnosed with leukemia, Paulson decided to help fellow patients receiving treatment for childhood cancers and blood disorders at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin by providing them with gifts of comfort. She spends much of her free time making Children’s Hospital and the community a better place for other children with cancer.
Hero of the Year – Joseph Brown
After seeing a young boy struck by a car, Brown noticed the victim was trapped under it. The driver unaware the boy had been struck, continued down the street. Brown ran after the car and after gaining the driver’s attention, he crawled under the car to comfort the trapped boy until emergency personnel arrived.
For more information on this year’s Brave Hearts event, visit: redcross.org/wisconsin/local/brave-hearts.