Lifesaving Heroes from Across Alberta Honored

Edmonton – Saturday June 9, 2018 The Hon. Lois Mitchell as Vice-Prior of the Order of St John and Lt Governor of Alberta, recognized 40 remarkable Albertans in several areas – such as Lifesaving Awards, Admission and Promotion in the Order of St John, Commendations and Awards of Excellence.

During the ceremony thirty individuals from across Alberta were recognized with Lifesaving Awards. These are courageous people who came to the aid of fellow Albertans at stressful and sometimes life threatening situations involving severe injury under precarious circumstances.

Examples of these inspiring stories include Gold Pin Lifesaving Award recipients Derrick Kernaghan from Calgary and Elaine Soetaert from Sturgeon County who put their lives in direct danger to save the life of another.

Derrick Kernaghan – Calgary
On August 5, 2017, on Crowsnest River, Alberta, Derrick Kernaghan risked his life to save another. When Derrick heard a call for help, he immediately responded. Seven year old Sadie had been playing along the edge of the river when she fell into the deep, cold water. In the swift current, Sadie struggled to keep her head above the water. Without hesitation, Derrick jumped into the river, and swam out to reach her. With Sadie in one arm, Derrick swam back to shore. Once on shore, family members quickly provided first aid for hyperthermia to both Sadie and Derrick. Without Derrick’s intervention, Sadie may not have survived this frightening accident. Derrick Kernaghan is to be commended for his quick response, strength, and selfless actions in saving a life”.
Elaine Soetaert – Sturgeon County
On April 1, 2017, in Peoria, Arizona, Elaine and her husband Martin were preparing for their return trip home to Alberta. Martin was outside closing the pool. While in the house, Elaine heard an explosion. She ran outside and saw that the pool house was destroyed. Elaine did not see Martin anywhere. Frantically searching, she noticed a shoe floating in the pool and then saw Martin lying motionless at the bottom of the deep end. Although Elaine was not a confident swimmer, she entered the water and dove under, grabbing hold of Martin’s clothing and pulling him to the edge of the pool. Martin was unresponsive and not breathing. Elaine started artificial respirations. Struggling to keep his head above water, Elaine moved Martin who was unconscious to the shallow end and initiated chest compressions. Neighbors responded and called 9-1-1. Martin was transported to hospital where he later recovered. Elaine Soetaert is to be commended for her selfless actions, quick response and for her knowledge and use of first aid in saving her husband’s life.

Arvid Thompson – Milo

On October 7, 2017, near Vulcan, Alberta, Arvid Thompson was travelling with 8 students on his school bus from Vulcan to home near Milo. A driver tried to pass the bus and lost control due to slippery conditions, hitting the bus causing it to spin and go into the ditch. The bus rolled before coming to a stop on its side. Despite being shaken by the event, Arvid Thompson immediately called 9-1-1 and began attending to the students. He was able to evacuate all the students except one who was unconscious. Concerned about an injury to her neck, he ensured she was not moved and that her neck remained stabilized. Arvid Thompson is to be commended for his quick actions, and knowledge and use of first aid to save lives.

Other lifesaving recipients include:

Chad Goldie –  Grande Prairie

Nicholas Cross  – Grand Prairie
Lis Christensen –  St Albert
Cst. Deiter Molcak –  Edmonton
Patrick Nutall –  Edmonton
Chief Petty Officer Tyler Reynolds – Spruce Grove
Arvid Thompson –  Milo
Asmir Bekric – Fort McMurray
Steven Higgs – Fort McMurray
Matthew Bristow – Fort Saskatchewan
Dennis Grahn – Sherwood Park
Shelby Grahn – Edmonton
Beverly Cardinal – Edmonton
Donna Kutschke – Edmonton
Tamara Plante – Edmonton
Harold Roscher – Edmonton
Shawn Thomson – Edmonton
Harry Seeman – Edmonton
Tej Chuhan – Edmonton
Derrick Kernaghan – Calgary
Elaine Soetaert – Sturgeon County
Chad Goldie – Grande Prairie                                                 
Kevin Bjornson – Grande Prairie
Rob Short – Grande Prairie
Stephanie Barber – Grande  Prairie
Jim Cheyne – Edmonton
Cindy Cheyne – Edmonton
Amanda Cheyne – Lac La Biche
Mark Saxton – St Albert
Kyle McNamara – Edmonton
Randy Gilson – Edmonton                      
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About St. John Ambulance 
St. John Ambulance is an international humanitarian organization and is a foundation of the Order of St. John. As Canada’s standard for excellence in First Aid and CPR services, St. John Ambulance offers innovative programs, ensuring Canadians receive the best quality training. Revenue generated from First Aid/CPR training supports St. John Ambulance’s charitable work.