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Texas Policeman Honored With Other Heroes

July 5, 1985

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ A Texas police chief who drowned while trying to save a partially paralyzed man was honored today along with a dozen other people by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.

Five of the 13 people recognized by the foundation for acts of heroism died while helping others. They were from six states and two Canadian provinces.

James Robert Wulf, 35, of Dilley, Texas, tied a rope around his waist and swam through the swift current of the Sabinal River last Dec. 31 to reach James B. McIntosh, who was stranded in his car at a low-water crossing.

As other men anchored the rope on the bank, Wulf climbed on top of the car, removed the rope from himself and tied it around McIntosh. He held onto McIntosh as the others pulled the rope, but Wulf lost his grip and was swept away. McIntosh was pulled safely to the bank.

The awards, accompanied by grants totaling $32,500 to the rescuers or their survivors, bring to 6,920 the number of people throughout the United States and Canada who have been honored by the Pittsburgh-based fund since its inception in 1904.

Through the 81 years since industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie established it, the fund has given away more than $15.7 million in one-time grants and continuing support.

Among those honored today were three men, two of whom died trying to save a co-worker, Kevin M. Bates, 22, who was overcome by natural gas inside a tank in St. Marys, W. Va., Oct. 4.

Christopher M. Lowe, 26, of Marietta, Ohio, saw Bates in trouble, alerted others and entered the tank, where he supported Bates in 40 inches of water before drowning. Robert H. Wood, 26, of Marietta, followed Lowe into the tank, was overcome by fumes and died. Chester L. Binegar, who also entered, was overcome by fumes, but he and Bates were revived after co-workers pulled all four men out of the tank.

The commission also honored Sylvester R. Ludwig, who died, and Clayton W. Steele for their attempt to save their neighbor, John A. Eisenzimmer of New Rockford, N.D., from toxic fumes that filled his basement as he used acid to clean his water well.

Ludwig, 63, who had been helping Eizenzimmer, and Steele, 59, who answered Ludwig’s call for help, were both overcome trying to pull Eisenzimmer up the cellar stairs.

Ambulance crew members removed all three men. Only Steele survived. The accident occurred June 21, 1984.

Selden C. Pierce, a 15-year-old high school student from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, slipped in heavy surf and drowned while trying to rescue Constance M. Rhyno, 18, who had fallen from a boulder into the surf in the Bay of Fundy, May 13, 1984.

Miss Rhyno was pulled ashore by another youth, but Pierce, who could not swim, drowned.

John E. Winesickle, 38, a construction worker from Everett, Pa., was honored for grabbing the ankles of James E. Ford, 38, after Ford was stunned by an electrical shortage in a power tool he was using and slid off a sloped roof on July 20, 1983. Both men fell 15 feet. Ford was not badly injured. Winesickle’s injuries prevented him from returning to work.

The commission also honored:

- Frank A. Bennett, 23, an unemployed worker from Forester’s Falls, Ontario, Canada, who was burned saving a 13-year-old girl from a fire in a service station in Cobden, Ontario, Dec. 4, 1982.

- Henry F. Comegys Sr., 48, a farmer from Centreville, Md., who suffered first- and second-degree burns rescuing a 30-year-old man from a fiery highway collision Sept. 6 in Centreville.

- Ted Eichelberger, 41, a farmer from Bryan, Texas, who knelt beside a burning grain truck and pulled the driver to safety moments before a gasoline tank on the vehicle exploded Oct. 10.

- Paul M. Gunby, 20, of Los Angeles, who despite having only one arm jumped into flooded Big Dry Creek in Littleton, Colo., Aug. 5, 1983, wrapped his legs around a tree trunk and caught Patricia A. Erickson, 23, who was being swept away from her swamped truck.

- John E. Larkin, 32, of Cleveland, who despite wearing a brace on an injured leg kicked in the door of a burning apartment Oct. 22, searched for his neighbor, Gladys E. Waugaman, 63, and carried her to safety.

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