Oak Harbor teen recognized for good deed

North Whidbey Middle School seventh-grader Paige Jackson was recognized by the American Red Cross for her efforts to help a classmate who was hit by a car in December 2012.  - Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times
North Whidbey Middle School seventh-grader Paige Jackson was recognized by the American Red Cross for her efforts to help a classmate who was hit by a car in December 2012.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

A North Whidbey Middle School student who jumped into action last year to help an injured classmate is being called a hero.

Seventh-grader Paige Jackson received a Youth Hero Award last week from the Islands Chapter of the American Red Cross for consoling and comforting a student until emergency responders arrived.

Last December, Jackson was on her way to school when she saw a pickup truck strike a student who was walking in a crosswalk on Whidbey Avenue.

Jackson immediately ran to the girl to offer help. She draped her jacket over the victim, held her hand and asked her questions until an ambulance arrived.

“I just wanted to keep her talking and not lose consciousness,” Jackson said. She also told another student to dial 911.

It turned out Jackson’s classmate hit her head after being run over. The driver of the truck also stayed at the accident scene.

Jackson was nominated for the Red Cross honor by North Whidbey Middle School Principal Bill Weinsheimer. He said he talked with the first responders about the accident and they noted Jackson’s efforts to help her classmate.

“They took notice and were really impressed by Paige’s composure and ability to do the right thing,” Weinsheimer said.

Jackson, who competes in volleyball, basketball and track while earning As and Bs in her studies, said she was happy to receive the recognition, but remained humble.

“I think it was something anybody should have done. I’m just happy the girl is OK,” she said.

Jackson was one of a number of people from Whidbey, Fidalgo, and San Juan islands to be recognized by the Islands Chapter of the Red Cross. She received her award last week at the Real Hero awards ceremony at the Swinomish Casino near Anacortes.


More heroes honored


Other award-winners include:

Tony Fyrqvist, Lori Brown, Cindy Mullis for their efforts providing CPR and using an automated external defibrillator to save an Islanders Bank employee in Friday Harbor whose heart had stopped.

• Navy Firefighter / AEMT Robert Berry for his efforts using CPR to save a 6-month-old child who had an obstructed airway.

• Swinomish Police Officer Dayton Long who helped a wheelchair-bound woman escaped her smoke-filled La Conner home. He also helped extinguish the house fire, preventing more serious damage and injuries.

• Navy station Capt. Wayne Barlage and Navy firefighter / EMTs Michael Wenzel and James Panek for their efforts to rescue a boy stranded about 60 feet up a nearly vertical rock face at Deception Pass State Park in July of 2012.

• Airman Recruit Cailin Weller of NAS Whidbey for his efforts using CPR to save a man who collapsed on an Island Transit bus in January of 2012.

• Swinomish Police Officer Earl Cowan for pulling a mentally unstable woman from a burning car in December of 2012.

• Anacortes police officers Jackie Richter and Gordon Alves for administering CPR to a woman who had lost consciousness and whose lips had turned blue by the time they arrived.

• Navy Seaman Apprentice Ryan Dodd and Petty Officer 2nd Class Jeremy Porter of NAS Whidbey Island for their efforts to resuscitate a 10-month-old child who had lost consciousness in Oak Harbor. 

Irene Bullock received a Lifetime Achievement Award for being a champion of preparedness and emergency response during the 30 years she’s lived on Whidbey Island. She served 12 years as a volunteer firefighter / EMT, taught CPR and AED classes for the fire district and volunteers at her church.

Bullock is a member of the Langley Community Emergency Shelter Team, which develops an independent emergency shelter that works with churches and the city of Langley.

• NAS Whidbey Island Search and Rescue received the Team Spirit of the Red Cross Award. The rescue team is comprised of Lt. Cmdr. Fred Morrison, Lt. Dylan Beyer, Lt. Leah Tunnell, Naval Aircrewman 1st Class Brian Casey, Naval Aircrewman Helicopter 2nd Class Jonathan Hampton, Naval Aircrewman 2nd Class Melissa Dixon, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Brent McIntyre, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Alex Nguyen and two former members of the team are now deployed elsewhere.

They respond when other rescue agencies need assistance from the air.

They also perform “medevac” services, often from the San Juan Islands, when the weather is too dangerous to fly.

The Whidbey-based team was called out three times in September of 2012, including the rescue of a fallen climber stranded on the south face of Mount Torment in the North Cascades. They later pulled a hiker to safety along the Pacific Crest Trail after he endured a 10-foot fall and broke his ankle in three places. The hiker had an emergency locator beacon that helped with his rescue. Then they rescued a man who fell 20 feet from a ledge on Mount Erie.


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