Top honor given to fast-acting Boy Scout
December 20, 2010 · 4:04 PM
In March, when Erik Hines came across hikers trying to revive a heart-attack victim on the popular Mount Peak trail in Enumclaw, the Boy Scout and his friend Christopher Hanrahan didn’t hesitate to jump into action.
They quickly assessed the situation, performed CPR even after the victim had vomited and then guided arriving emergency medical technicians up the hill to the victim.
“I didn’t really think about whether I should do it, I just did it,” Hines said.
In November, the Enumclaw High School senior, who is a member of Venture Crew 546 and Troop 422, received the Heroism Award, one of the Boy Scout’s highest honors.
In its decision-making process for the national honor, the Council Youth Development Committee noted the hiker’s life was in peril and the actions taken by Eagle Scout Hines were critical to the life-saving efforts even though the 53-year-old man died.
“The actions taken by Erik demonstrated his ability to quickly evaluate this situation and initiate appropriate life saving action. Erik demonstrated decisiveness, compassion and the application of appropriate first aid skills,” it was noted.
John Disney, vice president of programs for Pacific Harbors Council, said heroism awards are rare.
“They are very limited awards,” he said. “It’s very limited; the amount of kids and adults that get recognized.”
Pacific Harbor Council leads the country in heroism awards for organizations its size.
Disney said he’s not sure if that’s because of the Northwest and the outdoor lifestyle people here enjoy, or if members of this council make it a point to recognize Scouts for their acts of heroism.
He said for Scouts, responding is part of “taking care of business.”
Venture Crew adviser Randy Gallatin said the environment of the Northwest presents a number of options for Scouts to use the skills they’ve learned, including lifesaving skills.
“I would expect nothing else from him,” Gallatin said of Hines. “But when it’s put in to the context of the world, it’s well and above.”
Hines is also an Eagle Scout, which Disney said is also rare.
“About 2 to 3 percent of Scouts earn their Eagle Award,” he said.
Part of becoming an Eagle Scout is earning a First Aid Merit Badge, which includes CPR certification.
Hines downplays the rescue effort, but is pleased to be recognized.
“I’m very honored,” he said.
He believes his friend Hanrahan – who is not a Scout – should be honored, too.
“He did the same things,” Hines said. “I think he should get the same recognition.”