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Department of Human Resources

Delaware Award For Heroism


The Delaware Award for Heroism was established in 2013, award recipients are presented with certificates to recognize acts of heroism and courage.

Nominations will be accepted throughout the year. To be included in the May awards ceremony, Nominations will be accepted throughout the year. To be included in the May awards ceremony, nominations for the award must be submitted by the last day of February.


Heroism Award Recipients


Deanna Carnevale and Shane Russell, Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families

Serious Juvenile Offender Unit Officers Carnevale and Russell were conducting curfew checks in the City of Wilmington when they heard shots fired. As they approached the scene, they observed a woman lying on the ground who had been shot in the head, as well as another woman who also had been shot. Officer Carnevale and Officer Russell were first on the scene and gave quick and potentially life-saving assistance in an incredible intense situation. They rendered first aid until an ambulance arrived.

Donald Deputy, Department of Transportation

Mr. Deputy is an Equipment Operator IV with Maintenance and Operations. On May 13, 2021, South District Maintenance and Operations had a crew at the Woodland Ferry who heard a woman screaming for help. A man she had been kayaking with on the Nanticoke River had flipped over. He was clearly in distress and the situation was about to get worse as there was a loaded barge/tug rapidly approaching their location. Mr. Deputy who is the captain of the Woodland Ferry, immediately contacted the tug operator and had them reverse their engines to prevent a likely horrible outcome. Meanwhile, Eric Jensen, who was a mechanic at the time, promptly deployed the jon boat and raced out to the channel to get the stranded kayaker and then relocated both kayakers to the shore so they were able to get out of the water.

Travis Schirmer, Department of Transportation

Mr. Schirmer is a Maintenance Support Construction Manager with Maintenance and Operations. On March 15, 2021, Mr. Schirmer observed a concrete truck that was flipped over on the shoulder. He activated the lights on his truck and proceeded to check on the driver. The driver was unable to get out of the truck himself, so he had a nearby UPS driver call 911. Meanwhile, a Poore’s Construction vehicle pulled up to warn that the engine compartment was now on fire. Mr. Schirmer had the concrete truck driver shut the truck off while he and the UPS driver then pulled the front windshield off the concrete truck and helped get the driver out. While they did this, the Poore’s Construction employee used a fire extinguisher to put out the engine compartment fire. The concrete truck driver was unable to walk on his own so Mr. Schirmer moved him to a safe area while waiting for EMS to arrive.

Jonathan Simmons and Richard Wyatt, Department of Transportation

Mr. Simmons and Mr. Wyatt are equipment operators with Maintenance and Operations. On the morning of Monday, May 3, 2021, Mr. Carlos Pina was working off-site at the Route 301 Weigh Station on a large tractor with a side mower deck attached. While he was underneath the tractor to perform a repair, the side mower deck (weighing 800 pounds and measuring 10 feet by 3 feet) fell and landed on his right arm and shoulder, pinning him to the ground and causing significant bodily injury. Mr. Simmons and Mr. Wyatt witnessed the incident and acted immediately. Together they lifted the side mower up and off of Mr. Pina. They then worked together to provide first aid assistance and called 911.

Barbara Bell, Melissa Davis, Yvette Fenn, Isaac Harris, Alethea Miller, and Diane Penland (with Elena Dill, Amy Fierro, Debra Remner, Melissa Sangare, and Glenroy Warner), Department of Health and Social Services

This group from the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Delaware Psychiatric Center, and Herman Holloway Campus Security demonstrated outstanding judgment, decisiveness, and presence of mind when a coworker was found unresponsive. They called 911 and alerted campus security. Two coworkers started emergency care while others obtained the Automated External Defibrillator and administered it twice. Once the Delaware State Police arrived and took over the compressions, the team contacted the employee’s son, who worked on campus, so he could be with his mother before the ambulance took her to the hospital. The team retrieved and faxed over the employee’s medical records to ensure that the employee’s information was available to the hospital upon arrival.

Emmanuel Carlis and Sabrina Ellerbe, Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families

Ms. Ellerbe is a treatment Specialist Supervisor and Mr. Carlis is the Recreation Program Leader at Ferris School. While supervising several residents in the cafeteria of Ferris School during dinner, a resident began choking. Upon seeing the young man in distress, Ms. Ellerbe immediately began performing the Heimlich maneuver. The young man continued to struggle so Mr. Carlis began to assist and was able to dislodge the food item from the young man’s throat. The Ferris School medical team reviewed the incident and indicated that “it was only a matter of seconds before the young man went unconscious and staff would have had to perform CPR.”





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