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Young heroes honored at Children's Village

June 06, 1997

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

Ryan Reid was just 9 years old in May 1996 when he saved his dad's life - a feat that earned him a place in the Children's Village of Washington County Life Safety Hall of Fame.

But as his mother explained at the Kids Alive Fest Friday, it wasn't the first time and it probably won't be the last occasion for her son to be a hero.

"When Ryan was 5, his father had a seizure by the pool and Ryan, even then, tried to call his grandmother for help," said Rhonda Reid at the ceremony honoring her son and another young person.

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There was yet another incident just a month ago, and again, Ryan had to call 911.

"He's my right-hand man," Rhonda Reid said, hugging her son.

The incident that earned the award happened about a year ago while crossing the street in a shopping center parking lot. Ryan's dad, Ron, collapsed in an epileptic seizure.

Mindful of his 3-year-old brother, Ryan asked two women to watch the boy while Ryan ran to a telephone to call 911.

Also inducted Friday into the Children's Village Hall of Fame was Amanda Shifler.

In October of 1996, the then 12-year-old Amanda was home alone with her dad when his blood sugar dropped dangerously low and he began convulsing.

During that episode, Steven Shifler became violent, struck his head and bit his tongue severely.

Although her dad was bleeding from the mouth, Amanda remained calm, dialed 911 and then proceeded to restrain her father to keep him from hurting himself further.

Both Ryan and Amanda learned their valuable skills at Children's Village.

They were honored by the village, by Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II, and State Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington.

Amanda was also recognized by Boonsboro Ambulance Company Assistant Chief Rick Bell who thanked her for "making our job easier."

There now are nine youths listed in the Children's Village Hall of Fame.

Village director Marsha Tidler was thrilled with the turnout Friday, noting that cars were parked along Mt. Aetna Road as far as the eye could see.

"We had good weather, it was the last day of school and Friday turned to be a better day than Saturday for this event," Tidler said.

Visitor Samantha Hardy, 12, of Lincolnshire Elementary School, said she remembers what she learned when she went through the Children's Village program during the second grade.

"I'm having a lot of fun, watching the dunking booth and the displays and the fire trucks," she said.

B.J. Gearhart, 4, and his sister, Brittany, 6, brought their mother to the event all the way from Hancock.

"Brittany had a flier about it in her package from school today and we decided to come," said Brenda Gearhart.

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