The Southwest Colorado chapter of the American Red Cross held its second annual Breakfast of Champions on Friday to honor local heroes, including a man who found a missing friend in dire straits and a boy who helped his father to safety.Cindi Shank, director of the chapter, was appreciative of all award recipients attending the breakfast at the Durango Community Recreation Center.
"We want to take just one moment to recognize people who have saved a life," she said.
The Community Hero Aw-ard this year went to Mitch Higgins, a deputy with the La Plata County Sheriff's Office. In November, Higgins received a call reporting his friend had gone missing after work. Higgins spent hours tracing all the possible routes his friend could have taken home. He finally found tire tracks leading over an 80-foot embankment. At the bottom was Andrea Asbra's Jeep; she had been hanging upside down for about 12 hours.
Higgins stayed with Asbra and rendered aid until more emergency personnel could arrive.
"Without his tenacious search, this story may have turned out differently. We, the Southwest Colorado Chapter of the American Red Cross, salute you as a true Community Hero," said Shank at the ceremony.
The Youth Hero Award went to Bradley Behrens for his courage and bravery in a frightening situation. While elk hunting Oct. 22 in northern La Plata County, his father was injured after his horse fell on him. Bradley, 13, helped his father from going into shock during the six hours before rescuers arrived.
The Professional Rescuer Award went to the "A" shift of the Los Pinos Fire Protection District - Capt. Brad Egger, Norm Niesen, Jacob Sack, Marilywn Gurule and Mike Valdez.
The Red Cross Trained Lifesaver Award went to the Southern Ute Recreation Center lifeguards - Jessica Laue, Ty Conrad, Jennifer Johnson and Shannon Cummings.
The Animal Lifesaver Award went to Al Sundstrom's shepherd mix Rico for the comfort he provides at assisted living and children's facilities.
The Friends of the Red Cross Award went to Stan and Alice Crapo.
The owners of Star Liquors were honored for their prompt and emphatic response to recent Red Cross funding shortfalls.