Scouting offers a lot to youth in today’s world. The lifelong memories of a rainy campout, the experience of leading peers, and skills for every day life. At the base of it all are first aid and CPR. These skills are invaluable and tie directly to the motto of “Be Prepared.” On occasion, a Scout must jump into action and use these invaluable skills to save a life.
The BSA has 5 Lifesaving or Meritorious Action awards: National Certificate of
Merit, Medal of Merit, Heroism Award, Honor Medal, and Honor Medal with Crossed Palms. All of these awards may be given to a youth or an adult. The National Certificate of Merit is given for an act of outstanding service to others. The Medal of Merit is for an act of service which “reflects an uncommon degree of concern for the well-being of others.”
The Heroism Award, Honor Medal, and Honor Medal with Crossed Palms are given for showing heroism and skill in saving, or attempting to save, a life. Each level represents greater risk to one’s self: no risk, considerable risk, and extreme risk.
In 2010 more than 350 of these type of awards were given. Recently three separate events have been in the news.
Tyler from Troop 331 in Holmdel, NJ was awarded the Heroism award for rescuing two men in a river near the Grand Canyon. Tyler and his family were prepared with ropes and his skills learned in the Lifesaving Merit badge enabled him to use that tool properly during the rescue. Read more at the Holmdel Patch.
Cub Scout Lane Hardin from Peaster, TX helped perform CPR on his Great Grandmother until an ambulance could arrive. Lane’s keen knowledge of CPR helped him show his Grandmother the proper compression-breath counts. Story at the Weatherford Democrat.
In Missoula, MT two adults, Tony Higuera and Jay Skovlin, performed CPR on a heart attack victim at a Cub Day Camp. Having the proper leadership and emergency plan are key to a great event. Event leader David V. Grey and on-site nurse Erin Ward Barney will be awarded a Council level award. Details on the Montana Council website.