SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - For the past 11 years, the Pioneer Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross has been honoring people in our area that went above and beyond to make a difference.
Seven western Massachusetts Hometown Heroes, including murdered Springfield Police Officer Kevin Ambrose, will be saluted for their heroism at the Mass Mutual Center. If you aren't going to be able to attend the event, you can still hear all the inspiring stories by watching the ceremony live beginning at 7:30 Thursday morning on WWLP.com on any device.
This year's honorees are:
- Kevin Ambrose (posthumously), Veteran Springfield police officer killed in the line of duty during a domestic disturbance between a woman and her estranged boyfriend.
- Rebecca Boutin , Westfield Fire Captain who saved the life of a fellow firefighter who was trapped inside a burning, smoke-filled building.
- Ward Hamilton of Enfield, Connecticut, who pulled wounded State Trooper John Vazquez to safety amid an armed standoff in Chicopee.
- George Hamilton of Amherst, 13 year-old who saved his mother through CPR; which he learned through the NBC sitcom "The Office."
- Stephanie O'Brien of Chicopee, a front desk clerk at the Homewood Suites hotel, who came to the aid of a housekeeping inspector who fell while having a seizure and hit her head on a concrete flower container.
- Brent Alexander of West Springfield, crew chief for Columbia Gas, had advised his co-workers during a downtown Springfield gas leak to take cover behind his heavy crew truck. The workers took shelter, and were able to survive the ensuing explosion.
- Students and alumni of Palmer High School , who have hosted one of the largest Red Cross blood collection events for over 30 years, which resulted in the collection of 6,000 units of blood.
As he has throughout the event's history, this year's Hometown Heroes ceremony will be hosted by 22News reporter Sy Becker.