to recognize NH heroes
Union Leader News
Two men who responded to the disaster following the Sept. 11
terrorist attacks will receive special recognition on April
19, when The Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News hold
their annual Hero Awards Dinner.
The awards dinner, to be held at C.R. Sparks in Bedford, will
continue the newspapers’ tradition of honoring New Hampshire
residents who have risked their lives to save or attempt to
In all, the event will honor 31 individuals, three
firefighting companies — Pembroke, Hooksett and Allenstown —
and six young people who will receive honorable mentions.
In addition, Ray Summers, of Manchester, and Russell Keat, of
Grantham, will receive special recognition hero awards for
their efforts at the World Trade Center disaster.
Summers, 24, was at Shea Stadium Sept. 11, reporting for his
first day of work as a sports management intern for the New
York Mets as a sports management intern. He is a junior at
Southern New Hampshire University.
An EMT, he responded to calls from Manhattan seeking
emergency medical personnel and spent 72 hours at Ground
Zero. He was digging 30 feet under the collapsed towers when
a third building at 1 Liberty Plaza came crashing down. He
helped locate two Port Authority officers still alive.
Keat, 40, immediately called Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s office,
then picked up his gear, a few personal items, raced to the
elementary school to say good-bye to his two daughters and
drove to New York City, arriving at Ground Zero by 4 p.m.
Keat is trained to work underground to map crevices, tunnels
and “voids” — holes in debris that in the case of the World
Trade Center could be several stories deep — to make the site
safer for other rescuers.
Rescues of people from burning buildings and rescues of
people trapped in crashed vehicles dominate the evening’s
program where rescuers and rescuees often gather to renew
acquaintances made under very strenuous conditions for the
first time since the incident.
Whether ordinary people or professional firefighters, they
will be recognized for their efforts in saving lives “under
extreme and substantial danger, above and beyond the call of
Here’s a list of the others who will be honored for putting
themselves at risk to rescue others:
- Claremont Fire Capt. Tom Buinicky and firefighter “Buzz”
Chamberlain received burns and injuries in rescue attempts
at an apartment building fire in January.
- Manchester firefighter Kevin Healy rescued two people
from a burning building on West Merrimack Street in
February. He was later treated for inhaling toxic smoke and
- Allenstown Capt. Dan Silva and firefighter Keith Lambert
joined with Pembroke Lt. Dave Bouffard and Lt. Rob Farley
and firefighter Patrick Maccini at a bed-and-breakfast inn
fatal fire in July. The inn’s owner died.
- Holderness Fire Lt. Casino Clogston entered a burning
building in April, found a severely burned man, and carried
him through smoke and flame to a rescue crew outside.
- Kathleen Moore of Goffstown and Henry Gerlack Jr. of
Barnstead joined in April to remove a Barnstead man from a
crashed automobile. Fifteen seconds later, the car exploded.
- After several attempts to open the doors of a crashed,
burning vehicle in Auburn in June, 76-year old Jack Lee
finally reached a trapped semi-conscious teenager and pulled
her to safety.
- Smelling smoke, Elizabeth “Boo” Murray of Danville raced
to a neighboring home, where she finally managed to enter
and brought a elderly woman to safety from the flames. The
woman later died from injuries in the June fire.
- Arthur Moreau of Manchester and Russ Lauriat and Russ
VanderHorst, both of Goffstown, pulled 28-year-old Scott
Derendal from his wrecked, burning vehicle in Weare in July.
- Teenage boaters Nick Poulin of Manchester and John Lank
and Dustin Sherwood, both of Barnstead, reacted quickly as
an out-of-control boat circled a Lyndonville, Vt., teen who
had fallen into Suncook Lake in July.
- Hearing a crash near their home, Fred and Joyce Courser
of Concord raced to the scene and teamed up to free two
youngsters trapped in a vehicle that was on the verge of
exploding in August.
- Nathan Langlais and John Horan saw a vehicle skid out of
control and down an embankment in August. Seeing smoke and
fire and an unconscious driver, the two roommates ignored
“pop-pop” sounds from the gasoline tank, freed the trapped
driver and removed him safely.
- On their way to fishing on Lake Winnipesaukee in August,
Derek Vitale of Chester and Anthony Tripari of Merrimac,
Mass., smelled smoke and saw flames coming from a Farmington
apartment. The two raced through the burning building, where
Vitale found a baby and carried it to safety. The baby’s
parents, however, died in the blaze.
- When Verizon cable workers Paul Gagne and Jeffrey Morse
spotted smoke coming from a nearby building in September,
they not only freed trapped animals but also rescued a woman
from the smoke and flames.
- Christopher Smith of Londonderry and Timothy Dillon of
Hampton Falls saw flames shooting from a crashed vehicle in
October, then went to work — Smith from the front seat,
Dillon from the back — to free a trapped woman and then
carry her to safety.
- Seeing smoke, off-duty Manchester Firefighter Edward Roy
drove to a West Merrimack Street apartment building and
began banging on doors and yelling for occupants to
evacuate. Flames scorched his jacket.
Tickets for the Hero Awards Dinner are $25 each. Call The
Union Leader Promotions Department at 800-562-8218 or
668-4321, extensions 506, 507 or 509.
Checks can be made out to Union Leader Hero Awards and
addressed to the Promotions Department, P.O. Box 9555,
Manchester 03108-9555. If ordering tickets by mail, please
include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.