Red Cross taking nominations for “Heroes of the Heartland” award

DES MOINES — The Iowa region of the American Red Cross is taking nominations for its Heroes of the Heartland award, a prestigious statewide event to recognize the unsung leaders in our state who go above and beyond to save a life or make our community better.

Red Cross spokeswoman Emily Holley says the awards are for ordinary people who do extraordinary things. “It could be someone who saved a life, someone who administered CPR, or someone who was in the right place at the right time and provided assistance to someone struggling,” Holley says. “It could also be someone who saw a need in the community and stepped in to fill that need.”

One of last year’s heroes was a Hy-Vee truck driver and volunteer firefighter who stopped to help save a near-fatal car crash victim he came upon while driving his route. “We also honored a group of friends in their early 20s,” Holley says. “They were coming home from a hockey game and one of them went into cardiac arrest. They pulled over and all three of them cycled through administering CPR until first responders arrived on the scene.”

The ceremony to recognize the heroes is scheduled for April 9th at the state Red Cross headquarters in Des Moines.  “We provide them with an award and we work with a video company to produce videos that interview the person who nominated them, the person they may have helped,” Holley says. “It’s a wonderful time to really recognize folks who deserve it. And it’s also a corporate fundraiser for the American Red Cross and that money goes to our home fire campaign.”

The deadline to submit nominations is February 1st. Find an online nomination form at redcross.org/iowa.