SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Veteran Springfield police officer Kevin Ambrose was shot and killed last June saving the life of domestic abuse victim Charlene Mitchell.
According to Kyle, "Everyone respected him, he gave respect to everyone. No matter race, no matter gender. That's the one thing I can take from him, what I want to do when I get into the police field, trying to treat everyone with respect and try to be half the man he was."
Charlene Mitchell survived her wounds inflicted by the gunman who took Kevin Ambrose's life.
Charlene's cousin Erica Kyles told 22News, Charleen's family will always keep Kevin Ambrose close to their hearts. "He went over and beyond the call of that for my niece and my cousin, and we are forever in indebted of that man. We just want to let them know we're sorry, he will always be in our hearts, we'll never forget him."
Kyle told 22News, "When I found out he had saved someone's life that really didn't surprise me. He was a hero to me my entire life and not everyone got to see that. He was a hero to me, my sister, and my entire family. It's truly amazing because he died a hero's death, unfortunately that's what happened."
On the morning of March 28, the Pioneer Valley Red Cross will present Mrs. Carla Ambrose with Officer Kevin Ambrose's Hometown Hero award.
The Pioneer Valley Red Cross will honor Ward Hamilton. 22News explains what motivated this courageous man who was in the right place at the right time.
According to Hamilton, "You hear that officer's had been hurt, specifically the verbiage, I heard was state trooper had been shot, something kicked in and I just ran towards it to help."
Trooper Vasquez told 22News, "My car got hit 17 times. I took three rounds and another round and ended up with over 70 pieces of shrapnel in my right leg."
A Chicopee police cruiser pulled up, a lifeline for the wounded Trooper Vasquez.
"Ward was there, and he took his life, disregarded his safety and helped Trooper Williams get me inside the Chicopee cruiser," said Trooper Vasquez. "Bullets flying everywhere and he went to where the bullets were being fired at. He did an incredible thing, we're grateful that he was there."
"Without Ward, he would have been without cover for a longer period of time," said Trooper Keller Williams. "He was instrumental in getting him into the back of the cruiser."
And as with all Hometown Heroes, Ward Hamilton, a former police officer doesn't regard himself as a hero. "I don't consider myself a hero, I just think of someone who stepped up and helped when someone needed it."
"Oh it's a breath of fresh air in our society; it's good to have guys like that still around," said Trooper Williams.
The Pioneer Valley Red Cross will honor Ward Hamilton at the Heroes Breakfast the morning of March 28th.
Several Columbia Gas Company workers owe their lives to veteran co-worker Brent Alexander. He got them out of harms way just before the gas explosion in downtown Springfield last fall.
Brett Alexander is a Pioneer Valley Red Cross Hometown Hero . 22News shows how Brent used 40 years of on the job experience into one life saving decision.
According to Justin Carr, a Columbia Gas Company employee, "Brent was the first to recognize, ‘okay we've done everything and now let's just protect ourselves.'"
Brent Alexander and his men were standing just thirty feet away from where, in less than five minutes, the gas explosion would level the building on Worthington Street.
Brent Alexander told 22News, "It got to where I was thinking, ‘it was there were things were very dangerous.' When I realized that, I said to myself let's get behind the truck. My concern was with the people who were with me."
"Brent had enough level headedness and experience and wisdom to follow his gut to say let's get behind the truck; the explosion went off and it was just shocking," said Carr. "I can see bricks just flying by my head; I remember thinking about my daughter, about my family."
"I'm glad I was here to help people out very much. I'm really proud of myself," said Alexander.
There would be injuries that day, but thanks to Brent Alexander, no one died. For his courage and quick thinking, the Pioneer valley Red Cross will honor Brent Alexander as a Hometown Hero the morning of March 28th.