Good Samaritans honored for helping after Route 107 accident

Richard Nichio, center left, was one of the passersby who actively rescued a young person from a burning vehicle containing a number of Barlow students after the car was involved in an accident on Route 107 in April. He is joined by police Captain Mark O’Donnell, police Chief Douglas Fuchs, and Georgetown Volunteer Fire Chief Mike Heibeck.

Redding’s police officers, town officials, educators and fire departments members celebrated a number of civilian Good Samaritans on Wednesday, May 31, who actively helped save a life in Redding over the last two months.

Among those honored were four civilians who risked injury and rendered aid at the scene of a car accident on Route 107 in April that left four Joel Barlow High School students seriously injured, and teachers and athletic staff that successfully performed CPR on a heart attack victim at Joel Barlow High School.

The group of town officials first recognized two civilian passersby, Richard Nichio and Chris Consiglio, who physically removed incapacitated teenagers from a burning car at the scene of the April crash.

“It is extra special that we have the opportunity to collectively honor civilians who fall into the [first responder] category,” Police Chief Doug Fuchs said at the ceremony. They “may not have officially signed up for that titled, but today they sit among us.”

The officials also recognized Ann Brown and Kim Plourde, who rendered aid to incapacitated car crash victims after they were pulled out of the car, and police department members officer Colin O’Connor, officer Rachel Cardella, Sgt. Tim Succi, and dispatcher Michael Bowers for their actions during the traffic crash.

Two Barlow employees were also recognized as lifesavers last Wednesday, having performed CPR on the husband of a Barlow teacher who was not breathing and did not have a pulse.

Gary Stein, assistant boys’ tennis coach, and Monique Brown, athletic trainer, were recognized for their efforts in keeping the man alive.

Closing the ceremony, Superintendent Dr. Tom McMorran saluted the civilians who were involved in lifesaving acts in Redding, noting their actions prove they did not those they were helping as “anything other than a member of their own family who needed help.”

“We find ourselves at our best when we see ‘other’ people the same as those within our own family circle,” the superintendent said. “Wouldn’t it be a more beautiful world if, when we saw ‘other people,’ we saw our own family?”

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