From left: Avista Utilities President Dennis Vermillion,
Hometown Heroes award recipient and Avista
Journeyman Gas Don Galloway and Palouse
Operations Manager Jenny Blaylock.
The American Red Cross of Greater Idaho recently honored Avista Journeyman Gas Don Galloway and two other individuals for their lifesaving efforts at the scene of a car accident last summer. Galloway was in the right place at the right time with the right training to make a big difference.
At a reception in Clarkston in late March, Galloway was presented the 2011 Local Disaster Heroes award. Thirteen other local residents were honored for their individual work as well.
The Hometown Heroes event “honors these men and women, our friends, neighbors and co-workers who made a life-saving difference to our community," said Deborah Snyder, North Central Idaho District Manager of the Red Cross.
On Sunday, June 27, 2010, Galloway, who works in Pullman, was travelling on Hwy 95 south of Moscow when he came across two vehicles in a ditch, located only a few feet apart. They appeared to have been in a head-on collision. Two other passersby joined Galloway on scene.
One of the vehicles was on fire with an unconscious driver inside. Attempts to remove the driver were unsuccessful. He was pinned inside as the fire rapidly engulfed the vehicle. The driver died at the scene.
The other vehicle, a pick-up truck, had four passengers, three of which were able to exit the vehicle, but the driver remained trapped. They couldn’t get the driver-side door open and were forced to use the passenger-side exit, which was just feet from the burning vehicle next to it. As they moved to the passenger side of the truck, it also started on fire. Thankfully they were able to remove the driver and get him safely away from the burning vehicles.
Galloway stayed with the driver of the second vehicle until emergency medical technicians arrived. He kept the driver still and asked him questions to keep him conscious, while directing others to put compresses, towels and blankets on cuts and abrasions.
Galloway said his First Aid training was the key to him remaining calm and focused on the rescued driver. Tom Jannings, Safety and Health Specialist, nominated Galloway for the award.