Great Americans, Good News

Amidst the recent raging wildfires in Colorado (almost 1,000 structures destroyed), Superior, CO resident Phil Kupfner and others were at first using garden hoses to wet down their homes.  When it became obvious that the fires were overwhelming the houses, he and his neighbors made the decision to literally get out of town.  But before he did, Kupfner remembered that his near-neighbor was still inside his home.  So, he ran inside the, by then, burning home and rescued him.  But at a cost to both men’s health.  “They have burns in their throats and lungs, the doctor said, so they’re kind of guessing that potentially they inhaled some kind of fumes from a gas or some sort of explosion,” said Kupfner’s wife.  With “a long road ahead for both men,” there is no question that Phil Kupfner is a hero.  He risked, and impacted, his own health to save the life of his neighbor.  Wishing a full recovery for both of these gentlemen, following the worst wildfire in Colorado history.

In Eden Prairie, Minnesota, a 15-year-old female, Sydney Raley, while working at a McDonald’s drive-thru window, noticed that a woman in the waiting vehicle was coughing and choking on chicken McNuggets she had previously passed out to them.  Without hesitating, Ms. Raley climbed out and down from her drive-thru window, went quickly to the car, and began performing the Heimlich maneuver on the woman, a technique she had previously learned at a Red Cross babysitting class at age 11!  Initially unsuccessful, she quickly summoned a gentleman waiting in line who then assisted her.  Working together, they managed to dislodge the McNugget.  Police officers summoned to the scene would later reward Ms. Raley for her literal leap from the window to respond to a chocking woman in distress.  Our thanks to Minnesota’s Sydney Raley for her very likely life-saving efforts.

Turning now to first responder heroics, in Livingston, TX, two sheriffs deputies were dispatched to the burning home of a wheel-chair-bound gentleman.  Upon their arrival, the home was already engulfed in flames.  They succeeded in locating the gentleman now trapped on his porch.  Upon removing him, within seconds, that porch, too, burst into flames.  The immediate actions of those two fine deputies clearly saved the life of a disabled man. Our thanks to both for their courage and heroics.

A police officer from Lewiston, New York, Jon Smith, had recently rescued a woman from a burning home. Recalled he: “I tried to make entry into the home through thy front door, which I was unable to do.  So, I came around, and at that point, she had made her way into the living room.  We were able to get a window open and were able to pull her out of the window safely.” Officer Smith received an award for this dangerous rescue.

Then, just three months later, in the freezing cold, this same officer, Jon Smith, was called to a near-by lake to rescue “a dog (10-month-old Lab) that had fallen through the ice and was trapped in the water about 50-yards from shore.” Commented the Lewiston PD, “without hesitation, he (Officer Smith) removed his equipment and went in after him, bringing him safely back to land and reuniting him with his owner.” Said that owner: “Although she is a strong swimmer, there was zero chance of her getting back out onto the ice and she began to panic and tire quickly.”  The dog’s owner had recently had surgery and was unable to participate in the rescue.  Two rescues within three-months, with the latter life saved this time having four legs!

Firefighters in Sault Saint Marie, Michigan responded to a house fire call in time to rescue an 82-year-old woman from the inferno.  Someone passing by her home, heard her calls for help, and promptly called 911.  Reportedly, the elderly woman did not hear her smoke detectors when they sounded.  Upon rescue, she was taken to a local hospital for smoke inhalation and was subsequently released. Said the woman’s family: “The house is gone, but she is still here. It is a true Christmas Miracle.”  The unidentified person who called 911, and the firefighters who responded, clearly saved her life.

 Meanwhile, in Greensboro, North Carolina, just before Christmas, a fire destroyed a family’s home, including the life of their dog and all their Christmas presents.  Fortunately, mom, dad, and their three children made it our alive. And the dad had broken his foot the same day!  Sensing the family’s understandable despair, Greensboro firefighters from several stations, plus anonymous gifts, raised $2,500 to give the family a ray of hope at their time of loss.  Said the mom, Crystal Givens: “He (fire captain) has been on the phone since that night, making sure I was OK.  I tell everybody I lost everything but my faith, and that’s keeping me going right now.  I have to keep faith that he’s (God) not going to bring me this far to let me go now.”  Said Fire Captain Ken Lilly: “When we come together and help someone in the community, that’s what makes us feel better about our job (seeing so much “negative stuff,” as they do).”  Wishing the Givens family all the best as they seek to find a new place to live, and with it, a return to hoped-for normalcy.

Tulsa, Oklahoma police responded to a very unusual call.  Someone purposely left a zipped-up duffel bag containing five puppies (estimated to be about five weeks old) inside an area convenience store.  Happy ending.  The four responding officers each adopted a puppy and the fifth one went home with a store employee!  Said the Tulsa police spokesman: “If you’re looking for a pet, please adopt don’t shop.  There are lots of rescues at shelters that are now over capacity (with) abandoned pets.”

And finally for this edition, not a particularly great American from a conservative perspective, but good news nonetheless.  This is an ‘it’s-about-damn-time’ story.  After all of the defund-the-police nonsense in several liberal-controlled major cities resulted, predictably, in sharp increases in crime, much of it very serious crime, one mayor, among others subsequently forced to act, had the previously unused backbone to order a proposed re-hiring of police officers! Yep, Mayor Wheeler of Portland, Oregon is gonna do it, but not immediately (as conditions would seem to dictate), and not with a full restoration of the PPD’s original budget decrease (+ $7-million vs. $15-million cut in 2020).  Oh, and hiring not in line with the original police officer configuration.  Meaning that, beginning in 2023 (!), Wheeler proposes to increase staffing by 300 officers, to be made up of 200 sworn officers and 100 unarmed public safety specialists (the liberal dream).  Here we go again with cops are evil and the solution to crime is sending in unarmed “public safety” folks, like conflict-resolution-trained social workers, counselors, pastors, etc.  Sure do hope it works for them to solve their very serious increased crime problem.

Said Wheeler upon announcing the proposed hiring change: “This is the deadliest era in modern times for the city of Portland. As 2021 winds down, we have surpassed a historical threshold with 72 homicides and over 1,000 shootings in our city.  Our police bureau staffing levels are at record lows (200 officers left the department in 2020 for several negative-to-Portland reasons) and staffing levels will continue to decrease unless we take decisive action now.”  Clearly, no doubt at the behest of a Democrat-dominated City Administration and Council, “decisive action now” can apparently wait, as indicated above, for at least a year! Wish them well, a year from now, with their partial kinda-police officer move.  Things may not get markedly better in Portland, given the residual anti-cop feeling prevalent among leadership and the city’s activist elite!  After all, you see, in this pro-victim era, crime isn’t the fault of the criminal.  One might sense some additional redistribution of wealth coming to help soothe the “victims.” More socialism solves all (or so we’re instructed by folks who feel they are a whole lot smarter than we). But at least, and here again is the good news, police hiring will eventually resume in liberal Portland!


(Colorado rescue quote via, Nick Gilbertson, 1-2-22; Minnesota cashier to the rescue stats via, Alyssa Guzman, 12-21-21; Two rescues, three-months apart quote via, Greg Norman, 1-7-22; Sault Saint Marie rescue quote via, Audrey Conklin; 12-25-21; Greensboro, NC home fire quote via, Audrey Conklin, 12-27-21; Tulsa, OK pet rescue quote via, Michael Ruiz, 12-28-21; Portland police changes quote and stats via, John Sexton, 11-4-21).