Jack Schrader, left, of Manchester and Auburn firefighter Adam Salve of Durham are two of nine Maine residents who received the American Red Cross “Real Hero” award in Lewiston on Tuesday morning. Schrader received the “Blood Services Award” after donating 14 gallons of blood and Salve received the “First Responder Award” for his involvement in the rescue of a young boy after the boy and his brother fell into the Androscoggin River. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

LEWISTON — Adam Salve had been on the job less than six months, and he was off duty, when he heard about a call for two young boys in the water off Bonney Park.

The Auburn firefighter showed up at the shore all geared up, flippers in hand.

“He asked if I needed help and I said, ‘Get in the river,'” said Deputy Chief Matt Fifield. “He had the gear, he was confident and he was ready to go.”

Minutes later, Salve muscled a blue, face-down Maxim McFarland out of the Androscoggin into a canoe, pushing the canoe from behind while another firefighter paddled, fighting the strong current to get the 9-year-old boy back to shore.

“Adam made a choice (turning out to the scene),” said Fifield, the operations commander that day last April. “A choice he didn’t have to make, a choice he made and a choice that saved a life.”

Salve was one of nine people honored Tuesday at the American Red Cross annual Real Heroes breakfast for the central and mid-coast chapters at the Ramada Inn and Conference Center.

It was a morning of lots of applause, a few tears and demure I-didn’t-do-anything-special’s.

“Andrew, you may not think you did much,” said Cookie Kenney, addressing the man who’d saved her drowning husband. “You were amazing and what you did was priceless and I can’t thank you enough.”

Honored on Tuesday:

Gary Croteau of Auburn received an American Red Cross “Real Hero” award in Lewiston on Tuesday morning. Croteau received the “CPR Saves Lives Award” after he performed CPR on a man while ice fishing on Taylor Pond in Auburn. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

Gary Croteau, Auburn, CPR Saves Lives Award

Croteau was ice fishing with his friend Larry on Taylor Pond in February 2018 when Larry slumped over and stopped breathing.

Croteau, having only seen CPR performed on TV, began pumping his chest and pausing for two deep breaths. On the fifth attempt, Larry started choking and sputtering.

“When he started breathing, I looked up and I thanked God,” said Croteau in a pre-recorded video. “He’s not with us today, but he was there for another seven months, that was my job.”

Kayden Boilard, 11, of Lewiston received an American Red Cross “Real Hero” award in Lewiston on Tuesday morning. Boilard, a student at Farwell Elementary School, received the “Community Youth Award” for her involvement with the food pantry that she started called Kaydenz Kitchen. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

Farwell Elementary School principal Amanda Winslow speaks about her student, Kayden Boilard, the recipient of the American Red Cross Community Youth Real Heroes Award in Lewiston on Tuesday morning. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

Kayden Boilard, Lewiston, Community Youth Award

Boilard, a fifth-grader at Farwell Elementary School, started Kaydenz Kitchen Food Pantry out of her home before growing to 550 Lisbon St.

Farwell Principal Amanda Winslow called Boilard a quiet leader and conscientious.

“She doesn’t need to be in the spotlight — she’s actually quite mortified right now,” said Winslow.

Jack Schrader, Manchester, Blood Services Award

Schrader donated blood for the first time in 1965 when his older brother was in Vietnam.

“I thought that’s the least I could do to repay those guys who were fighting for me,” he said. “If my blood will keep a soldier in Afghanistan, or anybody else for that matter, alive, I’ve got to do it.”

He’s since donated more than 123 times for more than 14 gallons of blood.

Dean Paterson, Freeport, Services to the Armed Forces Award

Patterson, a pediatric nurse, works with Embrace A Vet, a group serving veterans with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries.

“I try to help others in a way that helps them become independent,” she said via video on Tuesday. (She was in Florida and couldn’t accept the award in person.)

Gail Hart of Harpswell receives the American Red Cross Public Services Real Heroes Award from Veronica Dumais and Arthur Howe in Lewiston on Tuesday morning. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

Gail Hart, Harpswell, Public Services Award

Hart, who moved to town about 10 years ago, is the volunteer emergency medical services chief of Harpswell Neck Fire Rescue.

She thanked people for the honor and said it’s a team approach.

Bob Bauman and his wife Hollie Vanderzee of Harpswell receive the American Red Cross Community Service Real Heroes Award from Veronica Dumais in Lewiston on Tuesday morning. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

Bob Bauman and Hollie Vanderzee, Harpswell, Community Service Award

The couple lead Harpswell Aging at Home, a group of 200-plus volunteers, most of them over age 70, who have made more than 60 homes safer for local residents. The group does home improvements like adding wheelchair ramps and hand railings.

Rockport fisherman Andrew Banow received the American Red Cross Lifesaving Real Heroes Award in Lewiston on Tuesday morning. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

Andrew Banow, Rockport, Lifesaving Award

Banow had been unloading herring at the Rockland Fish Pier last August when a wave knocked lobsterman Gary Kenney overboard.

Banow spotted the struggling Kinney, who was unable to swim and sinking under the weight of his clothes, and quickly motored out and pulled him to safety.

“What Andrew did was a miracle,” said Cookie Kenney.

Adam Salve, Durham, First Responder Award

It was only Fire Chief Robert Chase’s second day on the job last April when 5-year-old Valerio McFarland fell into the Androscoggin River and his older brother, Maxim, jumped in to try to save him.

Valerio was quickly swept down the river. Deputy Chief Fifield said he could see enough of Maxim from shore to shout directions to Salve in the water.

Salve, who is also a volunteer firefighter in Durham, said in a short Red Cross video that he’d trained in open water rescue. Water flow that day was four times faster than normal because of all of the recent rain, he said.

“The big concern, about another three-quarters of a mile down the river, the river becomes a lot more turbulent,” he said. Once he found Maxim, “he was face-down in the water, he wasn’t moving, he was blue, so it was time to go. I grabbed him and started swimming back.”

Firefighter Joe Gabri canoed to him and the pair raced back to shore.

“My portion of that little scenario was just one link,” Salve said. “It was many, many other people that made it so that Max is where he is today. Without the paramedics, without the doctors, without any one of those links, his outcome may have been different.”

Chase said it made an immediate impact on him to see what an amazing department he had joined.

“I’m lucky enough to work with heroes everyday,” Chase said. “In meeting and speaking with (Salve’s) family today, I think there was even higher powers at work based on the fact that this was a gentleman that grew up dedicated to public service and the skills that he had acquired through swimming and all of his additional training for his whole life really came to a pinnacle to help on that day. I can’t express enough how proud I am of all of them.”

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