Loganville woman recipient of Carnegie Hero Medal for saving boy from dogs

A Loganville woman has been honored this year by the Carnegie Hero Fund for her actions on Jan. 24, 2018 when she rushed in, at her own peril, to pull three pit bulls off a neighboring child who was being attacked by the dogs. Earlier this year, Svetlana “Lana” Reut was honored by the City of Loganville for her brave actions in pulling the dogs off 9-year-old Cameron Wagstaff before first responders arrived. Reut now joins 17 other national heroes, two of them Canadians, in receiving the Carnegie Medal. Among the other recipients are three who lost their lives in their attempts to save others.

Carnegie Medals. Contributed photo

According to the press release announcing the latest award winners, the Carnegie Medal is given “throughout the U.S. and Canada to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.” With these latest 2018 recipients, 10,062 Carnegie Medals have been awarded since the Pittsburgh-based fund was first established in 1904 by Andrew Carnegie. In addition, more than $40.5 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits and continuing assistance. Reut and the other recipients or their survivors will also receive a financial grant along with their medals.

Andrew Carnegie. Contributed photo

Carnegie was prompted to begin this Fund following the Harwick mine disaster near Pittsburg in January 1904 which claimed 181 lives. Included in those victims were an engineer and miner who went into the mine in an attempt to rescue others. Carnegie was so moved by the sacrifice that he formed his Fund to help “heroes of civilization.”

“I do not expect to stimulate or create heroism by this Fund,” Mr. Carnegie reportedly wrote, “knowing well that heroic action is impulsive. But I do believe that, if the hero is injured in his bold attempt to serve or save his fellows, he and those dependent upon him should not suffer pecuniarily.”

The Commission’s Deed of Trust established a $5 million fund to recognize persons who performed such acts of bravery “in peaceful vocations” to save fellows. The medal recites the heroic deed it commemorates and carries the Biblical quotation “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). When recognized for her bravery by the Loganville City Council and local first responders in March this year, the petite and humble Loganville woman gave all the credit to God for watching over them.

From left is Battalion Chief Benny Pilcher, with the Loganville Fire Department; Robert Underwood, with AirEvac Life Team; Capt. Joey Mellin, Loganville Fire Department; Alana Jernnigan, AirEvac Life Team; Svetlana Reut; Ronnie Almond, director, Walton County EMS; Chief Carl Morrow, Loganville Fire Department; and Katie Burgener, Walton County EMS.

In order to be a recipient of the Carnegie Medal, rescue acts are brought to the Commission’s attention and carefully evaluated before being investigated and then reported to the Commission for a decision on who qualifies for the award. In announcing Reut’s qualification for the award, the following information is noted in the press release.

Svetlana S. Reut rescued 9-year-old Cameron Wagstaff from three attacking dogs on Jan. 24, 2018, in Loganville, Ga. Cameron was playing outside when three pit bull dogs, all weighing about 70 pounds, knocked him to the ground and bit him. Cameron screamed for help, and Reut, 29, medical lab technician, responded. When she reached Cameron, the dogs were gnawing and clawing his face. She grasped Cameron by the hand and pulled him to his feet. They ran to a nearby yard and became separated. The dogs then attacked Reut, knocking her to the ground and biting her face and arm. The dogs’ owner responded and took one of the dogs back to his yard. Cameron, who had remained nearby, and Reut retreated to her house, and the other two dogs ultimately left the vicinity. Cameron was treated for his injuries. Reut was taken to the hospital for treatment of her injuries, which included bite wounds to her mouth and arm.

The Commission is a private operating foundation, classed as a charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code.


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