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14 Honored for Risking Lives To Save Others

April 30, 1993

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Karyn Schlachter saw a man struggling to stay afloat in the Niagara River’s rapid current and knew she had to jump in and help.

She figured somehow she’d get back out, even though Niagara Falls waited ominously six miles downstream.

″In the back of my head, I knew help would get there before we got six miles,″ Schlachter said. ″I was pretty confident someone would come. I was waiting for the helicopter to drop down from somewhere.″

It never came, but Schlachter pulled the man, who wore diving gear, toward shore and got out of the water with the help of a volunteer fireman.

Schlachter, 29, a teacher from suburban Cleveland, was among 14 people honored Thursday by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, which recognizes people who risked or lost their lives while trying to save others.

The Pittsburgh-based Hero Fund Commission has honored 7,724 people since it was founded in 1904 by industrialist Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie heroes or their survivors receive $2,500 and a bronze medal.

The other 13:

-Bill Baker Jr., 49, of Brunswick, Ga., who pulled three elderly people from a burning home on April 16, 1992.

-Clarence Harshaw, 37, of Marietta, Ga., who died March 28, 1992, while helping save an 8-year-old boy who had slipped into a lake.

-Tarreatha LeAnn Barnes, 11, of La Fayette, Ga., who suffered a fractured jaw while stopping a runaway automobile containing three young children on April 19, 1992.

-Henry A. Scheerer, 55, of Fremont, Ohio, who was burned while pulling a man from a burning van on April 28, 1992.

-Randy Artz, 35, of Hagerstown, Md., who saved a woman who was being swept out to sea at Ocean City, Md., on Aug. 8, 1992.

-Lannie Simmons, 12, of South Ozone Park, N.Y., who died Nov. 22, 1991, while trying to save relatives from a house fire.

-Terry L. Eschen, 38, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who grabbed a 1-year-old child as a car approached. Eschen was struck by the car on May 26, 1992, and suffered a fractured leg. The toddler suffered scratches.

-Jose Gomez, 31, of Lansing, Mich., who pulled a 4-year-old girl from a burning home on Aug. 21, 1992.

-Brian A. Murphy Sr., 32, of Moundsville, W.Va., who saved an elderly woman trapped in her burning apartment on May 19, 1992.

-Stanley E. Bizek, 24, of Dearborn, Mich., who pulled a teen-ager from rough waters in Lake Superior on Sept. 22, 1992.

-Michael Alex Chelik, 72, of North Arlington, N.J., who died Jan. 19, 1992, while trying to locate his wife in their burning home.

-Carlo Clark, 16, of Belleville, Ill., who saved an elderly woman who had collapsed on the floor of her burning home on Aug. 22, 1992.

-Joseph Varda, 22, of Arleta, Cal., who carried an elderly woman from her burning home on April 11, 1992.

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