Community celebrates East Idaho Real Heroes


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IDAHO FALLS — The winners of the 2017 East Idaho Real Heroes awards were honored at the American Red Cross’s annual luncheon at the Hilton Garden Inn Thursday afternoon.

The Red Cross event celebrated the spirit of humanitarianism and recognized ordinary individuals who have done extraordinary things to help others.

“Our annual East Idaho Real Heroes event is a great way to recognize the exceptional people among us and give them our heartfelt thanks,” says Nicole Sirak Irwin, Regional CEO of the American Red Cross of Idaho and Montana. “We’re thrilled with the way the local community has rallied around our annual celebration.”

The luncheon brought together community leaders, corporations, first responders, emergency and safety personnel and others.

The following individuals and organizations were presented with awards:

FIRE SAFETY HERO: Safe Haven employees and the Pocatello Fire Department B Platoon

LAW ENFORCEMENT HERO: Idaho Falls Police Department Bart Whiting

MEDICAL HERO: Keith Forkin and Jake Liday

SEARCH AND RESCUE: Grand Teton National Park rangers and Teton County Wyoming Sheriff’s Office

YOUTH HERO: Lazai Koontz, Joshua Clarke and Whitney Apel

ANIMAL RESCUE HERO: Idaho Falls Animal Shelter staff and volunteers


WATER SAFETY HERO: Nathan Fillmore, the Idaho Falls Fire Department and the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office

BLOOD DONOR HERO: Jeremy Plothow

SPIRIT OF THE RED CROSS HERO: Pocatello Police Officer Kenny McClure

EVERY DAY CITIZEN HERO: Larry Orchard is proud to partner with the American Red Cross for this important event. We will be releasing a video story on each of the winners over the coming days beginning Friday, March 9.