Everyday Heroes You Need to Know About

Everyday Heroes You Need to Know About

Do you have the confidence to respond to an emergency? Unfortunately, most people don’t know what to do in an emergency. But a small group of individuals knows exactly how to handle emergencies and will put their lives in danger to save others.

Heroes are a rare breed. They possess a unique combination of life-saving skills, as well as the confidence to administer crucial support to those in need. When an emergency seems hopeless, heroes take ownership of the situation and use all of the tools and resources at their disposal to get the best possible results. By doing so, heroes frequently help reduce the loss of life in emergencies.

Believe it or not, anyone can be a hero – even everyday citizens. Now, let’s take a look at four recent emergencies and the everyday heroes who put their lives on the line during these critical situations.

  1. Las Vegas Mass Shooting

The Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas on October 1 turned tragic when a gunman opened fire on concert-goers. This mass shooting claimed the lives of 58 people and caused injuries to more than 500 individuals.

CNN reported concert-goer Jonathan Smith is credited with saving the lives of at least 30 people during the incident. Yet Smith doesn’t consider himself to be a hero; according to Smith, he did what he believed anyone would do in an emergency and helped guide people to safety.

Meanwhile, as Smith was assisting other concert-goers, he was shot twice – once in the arm, and once in the neck. But another hero was ready to assist Smith – off-duty police officer Tom McGrath.

McGrath led Smith to safety amid the chaos. He also put his own fingers in one of Smith’s bullet wounds to slow down the bleeding.

Smith and McGrath stepped up in the face of adversity and did whatever they could to protect others in a dangerous situation. They were able to act with confidence to help those in need when most people would panic.  These everyday heroes went above and beyond the call of duty, and as such, exemplify what it takes to display courage and poise in a life-threatening situation.

  1. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma struck the U.S. mainland in September 2017, causing massive devastation to the economies of Florida and Texas. In fact, AccuWeather has predicted the economic cost of both natural disasters could total $290 billion.

At the same time, Harvey and Irma brought out the best in a number of groups and individuals. The New York Post highlighted some of the everyday heroes during the hurricanes, and these heroes included:

  • Cajun Navy: A group of recreational boat owners and volunteers, commonly referred to as the “Cajun Navy,” provided rescue support to hurricane victims. Previously, the Cajun Navy offered rescue assistance to Louisiana flood victims last year.
  • Amanda Labove: Labove helped guide hurricane victims along the Texas-Louisiana border, ensuring victims could reach safety as quickly as possible.
  • Spider-Man: An unidentified man dressed up as “Spider-Man” distributed toys and stickers to children taking shelter at a Houston recovery center. Spider-Man brought smiles to the faces of many children, providing these kids with a temporary reprieve from the stress and anxiety of hurricane recovery.

The aforementioned Harvey and Irma heroes showed that anyone can make a difference in an emergency, regardless of its size and severity. These heroes chose to act and set a positive example for others, one that may lead individuals of all ages to learn how they can do their part to assist others in hurricanes and other natural disasters in the future.

  1. Orlando Nightclub Shooting

The Orlando nightclub shooting was a senseless act of violence, one that won’t soon be forgotten. An American-born man who pledged allegiance to the ISIS terrorist group killed 49 people and wounded 53 others at an Orlando nightclub in June 2016. At that time, the nightclub shooting was considered to be the worst terror attack since 9/11, authorities told CNN.

Several everyday heroes emerged during the Orlando nightclub shooting, including:

  • Joshua McGill: McGill acted quickly to help Rodney Sumter Jr., a nightclub bartender, survive the shooting. McGill was confident in his emergency response training, as he used his shirt to make a tourniquet on Sumter’s arms and stop bleeding on his back. He also helped Sumter reach a safe area.
  • Christopher Hansen: Hansen was exiting the nightclub when he saw a bartender who was shot in the arm. Rather than leave the bartender on her own, Hansen stopped. He then helped the bartender and ensured that she was safe.
  • Ray Rivera: Rivera, a DJ at the nightclub, helped a man and woman take cover in his DJ booth after the first gunshots were fired. Rivera kept his cool as panic ensued around him during the nightclub shooting. When Rivera noticed a break in the noise, he helped the man and woman get to a safe area.

Thanks in part to the actions of the aforementioned heroes, many people received the support they needed to survive the Orlando nightclub shooting. These heroes displayed the bravery, integrity and confidence needed to step up to assist others – even when it meant putting their own health and safety at risk.

  1. San Bernadino Terrorist Attack

On Dec. 2, 2015, a terrorist attack that consisted of a mass shooting and attempted bombing took place at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. The incident resulted in 14 fatalities and 22 injuries.

Police Lieutenant Michael Madden recalls the San Bernadino terrorist attack. He recently told ABC News that he was sitting in an unmarked police car in a Target parking lot when he got the call to respond to a possible active shooter.

For Madden, a 25-year member of the police force, the call was unlike any other he had received in the past. He told ABC News that he had never responded to an active shooter incident prior to the San Bernadino terrorist attack. But within two minutes of arriving at the scene, Madden and three other police officers were ready to enter the Inland Regional Center.

Madden had no idea what he might encounter when he accessed the building. But he was unafraid to enter a potentially devastating situation and displayed the confidence of a hero. Once inside the building, Madden and his team were able to assist dozens of injured and panic-stricken victims until medical personnel arrived on scene.

As the aforementioned examples show, individuals who remain calm, cool and collected in emergencies may be best-equipped to deliver critical support in these life-threatening situations. With the right training, anyone can learn what it takes to administer crucial assistance in emergencies.

You won’t have to search far and wide to enroll in life-saving training. Courses are available in cities and towns nationwide that teach individuals how to provide life-saving assistance in emergencies. Enroll in a life-saving training program, and you can build your emergency skill set and gain the confidence that you need to become an everyday hero in your community.


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About the author

I spent 15 years as a firefighter and paramedic...

And too often I would arrive on the scene of someone unconscious, surrounded by a circle of people feeling helpless. Sometimes those people would even have CPR training but lacked the confidence and experience to act.

That’s why I started SureFire CPR. Our classes are practical and engaging – teaching you the crucial skills you need to know what to do and feel empowered to take action.

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Zack Zarrilli, Founder

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