September 3, 2014

Elyria
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American Red Cross Lorain County chapter selects Real Hero Award winners

From left, Shane Robinson, Brittany Robinson, Samantha Baird, 15, Mitzi Baird, Adele Flynn and Eric Flynn stand at the American Red Cross on Thursday afternoon after receiving the American Red Cross Lorain County Chapter annual Real Hero Awards. Not pictured is James Torres. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

From left, Shane Robinson, Brittany Robinson, Samantha Baird, 15, Mitzi Baird, Adele Flynn and Eric Flynn stand at the American Red Cross on Thursday afternoon after receiving the American Red Cross Lorain County Chapter annual Real Hero Awards. Not pictured is James Torres. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

Shane Robinson pulled two people out of a burning car Sept. 2 while his wife, Brittney Robinson, called police.

Mitzi Baird, wife of Elyria City Councilman Jack Baird, R-at large, administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation when he had a heart attack Oct. 31. The Bairds’ daughter, Savanna, 15, called 911.

Adele and Eric Flynn helped Penfield Township Trustee Lloyd Gordon after he was critically injured after being run over by a tractor Aug. 4.

James Torres, a Neighborhood Alliance driver who delivers meals to elderly shut-ins, called Elyria police on Oct. 26, 2012, when he realized a client locked in her home had collapsed. Police credit the quick action of Torres, who wasn’t available for an interview Thursday, with saving the woman.

They told their stories Thursday as winners of the American Red Cross Lorain County chapter Real Hero Award at chapter headquarters in Elyria in preparation for a formal awards ceremony at 12:30 p.m. March 27.

The annual awards, for extraordinary actions that changed or saved a life, have been given since 2005, said Mary Fenwick, a Red Cross administrative assistant.

Winners are selected by the chapter’s 18-member Board of Directors. Torres wasn’t recognized by the Red Cross in 2013 due to an oversight, said Kathy Pennington, Red Cross executive coordinator.

Robinson, of Spencer, described being covered with blood as he pulled passenger Jeffrey Burgos II, 23, of Avon, and driver Alyssa Hovinetz, 24, of LaGrange, from their car. The vehicle crashed onto a concrete drain culvert in Huntington Township on Stewart Road east of state Route 58. Police said Burgos and Hovinetz would have burned to death if not for Robinson.

Robinson said he and Brittney Robinson reacted instinctively.

“We couldn’t sit there and watch two people burn,” he said.

Gordon would’ve choked to death on his own blood if the Flynns hadn’t reached him quickly, said Adele Flynn, Gordon’s niece. The Flynns live next store to Gordon on the family farm.

After being run over, Gordon fell on his back and his mouth was full of blood, Eric Flynn said. Flynn said he rolled Gordon on his side and tilted his face down until paramedics arrived. Eric Flynn said Gordon has lost sight in one eye, but is recovering from the accident.

Baird, CPR certified for 30 years, put her training to use when her husband had the heart attack in their bedroom. CPR success rates outside hospitals by non-medical professionals are just 5 to 13 percent, reports the Journal of the American Medical Association, but Baird beat the odds.

Baird said she did chest compressions between six and eight minutes before paramedics arrived. “It felt like a lifetime,” she said.

Jack Baird had no pulse when paramedics arrived. Baird said doctors told him he probably would have died if his wife hadn’t begun CPR immediately. If he survived, Baird said doctors told him he would have had brain damage due to the lack of blood circulation and oxygen.

Baird, 65, was in a coma for five days. He had a pacemaker installed and has recovered fully.

Fenwick said the awards ceremony is one of the chapter’s most popular events and typifies the Red Cross mission of volunteerism in emergencies.

“The Red Cross recognizes that it’s everyday people that are doing extraordinary things that should be recognized,” she said.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.

  • 2muchgovernment

    Congrats to all these selfless heroes! We need more people like them!

  • 2muchgovernment

    Wait a minute. Now I’m confused. If I’m not mistaken, in the Burgos/Hovinetz incident, charges were filed against burgos as the driver. Yet several past articles in different newspapers have all stated that Burgos was pulled from the passenger side. So why were charges filed against him? If I was his attorney, I would have jumped all over that. Something smells fishy. Regardless, great job Shane & others.

  • a524

    Both of them were pulled from the passenger side, they were both in the passenger seat mangled together. Neither Burgos or Hovinetz remembered who was driving that night due to all their injuries (concussions, brain hemorrhages, blood loss) An investigation was done which concluded Burgos was the driver that night.

  • 2muchgovernment

    Not so. I was wondering if someone would dispute it. There’s more to the story than was made public. He was protecting her and that’s all I’m going to say.

  • a524

    There isn’t to much more to the story. Being in the hospital for over two weeks, missing 3 months of work, having to relearn to walk, dress yourself etc.,you just want move forward with your lives rather than try to dispute a memory you don’t have and dwell longer then you have to in a situation like this.

    • 2muchgovernment

      Actually there is more to the story. And I’m sure you do want to move on. Much easier for you since none of this is on your record. Problem with people these days is no one takes responsibilities for their actions. Its always someone elses fault. There’s always consquences to our actions & they’re not always good. So, despite what happened be happy you did recover and can get out of bed to go to work. Not everyone is as lucky as you were.

      • a524

        wow, ok. my friends are lucky to recover and they both take blame for what happened. they definitely have an angel looking over them.