Forty-three Washington workers to be honored for saving lives on the job

September 24, 2019

Tumwater – Many heroes don't train, practice or plan to be lifesavers, yet when the need unexpectedly arises, often there are people willing to charge in and help.

On Sept. 25, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries and the Governor's Industrial Safety & Health Board will honor 43 heroic Washington workers during the Governor's Industrial Safety and Health Conference in Tacoma. 

One of this year's recipients is a king County Metro Transit bus operator who was shot during an active-shooter situation but still managed to drive his passengers to safety. Another is a kindergarten teacher who helped save a student who became ill and stopped breathing. 

And there's the case of a transportation maintenance supervisor who discovered a woman, face-down in a creek after being thrown from a crashed car and rescued her. These are just some of the heroes being honored. 

Often adults spend many of their waking hours at work. For some, that means needing help from co-workers or strangers when emergencies happen. For others, it means stepping forward and helping save someone's life during an otherwise normal workday.

The award winners must have performed "hands-on" aid in saving a life. For law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and other similar professions, the lifesaving action cannot be part of their normal job responsibilities; it must be above and beyond the call of duty. 

Each of the stories of these workplace heroes is compelling, and each reminds us that there are always unknown heroes in our midst.

KOMO's Denise Whitaker will present the awards during the opening ceremonies of the annual Governor's Industrial Safety and Health Conference, starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the Tacoma Convention Center. The conference takes place Wednesday and Thursday.