Wonder Woman and Superman got nothing on these heroes

A member of the Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center's Cardio Surgical Team displays the team's photo on the cover of a Wheaties box during the Red Cross Real Heroes Breakfast on Thursday at Harrah's inReno. The team was nominated and won for saving Chris Campos' life during emergency surgery for an aortic aneurysm.

A member of the Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center's Cardio Surgical Team displays the team's photo on the cover of a Wheaties box during the Red Cross Real Heroes Breakfast on Thursday at Harrah's inReno. The team was nominated and won for saving Chris Campos' life during emergency surgery for an aortic aneurysm.

He doesn't have super strength, can't leap buildings in a single bound and doesn't usually have occasion to wear a cape.

But to his granddaughter Emma, Larry Brewer is a hero just the same.

Thursday morning, the Northern Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross agreed, naming Brewer as the organization's "Family Hero" of 2007.

Brewer was one of eight residents of Carson City, Douglas and Lyon counties to be honored as a hero at the chapter's 2007 "Real Heroes" breakfast Thursday morning in Reno.

Eleven-year-old Emma, a fifth-grader at Fritsch Elementary School, was assigned a paper on her hero, and she picked her grandfather.

"I didn't know about it until she got a grade on it, then she showed me," Larry said.

In her essay, Emma wrote that she chose her grandfather because, "My papa is brave. He is not afraid to look under the bed. When he looked under the bed there was no monster. There was just a piece of dirt.

"The heroes that are important are Martin Luther King and Superwoman. Heroes don't have to be like that. They can be firefighters and police officers. That is brave. I hope you know your hero as well as I do."

Emma's mother Sharron sent in the essay for Emma as a nomination of her grandfather.

"You know people in your family love you, but to have them write it out is special," Larry said. "I'm not a hero at all, that's just what family does."

Larry shared the "Family Hero" award with 16-year-old Anthony Anderson, of the Gardnerville Ranchos, who pulled his 2-year-old brother, Talin Masters, from a pool.

"He was dead in the water, and I helped bring him back to life," Anderson said. "It's pretty cool to be recognized, but I'm just glad he's OK."

Anderson performed CPR on Talin until help arrived. Talin was taken to Carson Valley Medical Center before being taken by Care Flight helicopter to Renown Regional Medical Center. Today, his family said Talin doesn't even recall the incident.

Two youth from Carson City where honored in the "Youth Hero" category, both for trusting their instincts. Keira Gray was recognized for her persistence that something wasn't right outside her home. She convinced her mom to call for help and identified a gas leak.

Gray was told by firefighters that had the leak continued, "It could have leveled our neighborhood."

Also honored was Cameron Shirey, who helped when his teacher at Carson High School injured her head and was badly bleeding. He also helped when he and his father, Carson City Fire Department Battalion Chief Dan Shirey, came upon a car accident.

"It's really quite a cool feeling to be recognized for something you've done," Cameron said.

Cameron was nominated by his father.

"His mother and I are exceptionally proud of what he's done to help. He puts himself in a position that he thinks of other people first," Dan Shirey said.

Among the other recipients receiving awards were the cardio surgical team from Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center, PJ Degross and DAWG founder Cherie Owen.

In addition to the eight regular categories, the ceremony also included special awards relating to the Mizpah Fire and the shooting at Pine Middle School both in Reno.

Jencie Fagan, a teacher at Pine Middle School, was honored as Hero of the Year for confronting the gunman and talking him into dropping the weapon.

All of those selected as heroes received replica Wheaties cereal boxes adorned with their picture.

"I've never been on a Wheaties box before, this is definitely cool," Shirey said.

The winners

Area nominees for Northern Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross Real Heroes Awards. Winners are bolded.

Adult Community Hero

• Aaron Bird and his Q&D Construction crew, Dayton

Nominated by: Steve Peitz

The crew acted to prevent a house fire and save the lives of two families.

• PJ Degross, Carson City

Nominated by: Don Lindsay

PJ created the "Web of Support Soldier Adoption Program" to provide support to soldiers overseas and their families at home.

• Dr. Marvin H. Dennis, Carson City

Nominated by: Linda Ross

Dennis has served as the pastor of Good Shepherd Wesleyan Church for 20 years as well as Chaplain for Carson City Sheriff's Department, Nevada State Legislature and Carson-Tahoe Regional Medical Center.

• Dee Dee Foremaster, Carson City

Nominated by: Ellen Nelson

Foremaster is the director of the Do Drop Inn and an advocate for the homeless community.

Animal Hero

• Darlene Bardsley, Carson City

Nominated by: Victoria Williams

An advocate for animals, Bardsley has rescued animals and helped fund groups to support both wild and domesticated creatures.

• Mary Minor, Dayton

Nominated by: Mary and Joseph Wilson

Dr. Minor is the owner of the Dayton Valley Veterinary Hospital and a mentor to at-risk children.

• Cherie Owen, Gardnerville

Nominated by: James F. Joseph

Owen founded the Douglas Animal Welfare Group or DAWG in 2000 to better the lives of animals and prevent euthanization of animals in Douglas County. Since its creation, no adoptable animals have been euthanized at the Douglas County Animal Shelter.

Family Hero

• Anthony Anderson, Gardnerville

Nominated by: Vanessa Ozolius

Anderson jumped into the pool to rescue his unconscious 2-year-old brother, performed CPR and stayed with him until help arrived.

• Larry Brewer, Carson City

Nominated by: Sharron Brewer for Emma Brewer

Brewer was nominated because he helps her with math homework and does his own taxes.

Youth Hero

• Keira Gray, Carson City

Nominated by: Donna Gray

Keira heard and smelled a gas leak and her persistence in telling her mom allowed the fire department to prevent the leak from igniting. For more on Keira, go online to www.nevadaappeal.com.

• Cameron Shirey, Carson City

Nominated by: Dan Shirey

Cameron helped provide emergency help during two separate incidents, once after witnessing a car accident and once after his teacher at Carson High School injured her head.

Medical Rescue Hero

• Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center Cardio Surgical Team, Carson City

Nominated by: Chris Campos

The team was honored for working to save Campos' life after she suffered an aortic aneurysm. For more on the team, go online to www.nevadaappeal.com.

• Carson City 911 operators, Carson City

Nominated by: Richard Chrzanowski

The operators provide help and keep callers calm while dispensing the necessary help and collecting relevant information, like they did 110,000 times in 2006.

Unsung Hero

• Ron Bowman, Carson City

Nominated by: Wanda Beckman

Bowman started the Carson River Clean up Days, the "Call and Haul" Service for seniors and various other community activities.

• Michelle Middleton, Carson City

Nominated by: Marjorie Heusinkveld

Middleton helps the elderly and those with special needs and raises funds for her church all while dealing with stage-three renal failure.

• Michael Smith, Gardnerville

Nominated by: Debra Bacchi

Smith collected more than 5,000 pounds of food for the Carson Valley Community Food Closet in 2006, and donates his time to Cub Scouts, Douglas County Humane Society and Washoe Indian Head Start Program.

Firefighter Hero

• Steve Eisele, Minden

Nominated by: Susan and Terry Taylor and Allen Anderson

Eisele, a deputy fire chief with East Fork Fire District, saved a fellow firefighter after he fell into a burning hole and helped an employee with transportation to California for treatment of a life-threatening illness.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at jshipley@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.


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