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News & Press: Council News

NCAC Scoutmaster Receives Heroism Medal

Thursday, June 12, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Aaron Chusid
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Local Boy Scout Leader Receives Heroism Medal

Zawislak is honored for lifesaving actions during the Navy Yard shootings

 

JUNE 12, 2014 – BETHESDA, Md – National Capital Area Council (NCAC), Boy Scouts of America (BSA), is proud to announce that Edward "Chip” Zawislak has been awarded the Honor Medal with Crossed Palms, the highest recognition granted by the Boy Scouts for heroic actions, for his lifesaving actions during the 2013 shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.

"We are extremely proud of Mr. Zawislak,” says NCAC President Bob Wood. "Boy Scouts put a lot of emphasis on developing emergency preparedness, and while we pray none of our Scouts ever find themselves in situations where they need to use those skills, we hope they will do so with the same clarity, calmness, and confidence Chip displayed.”

Zawislak was in the NAVSEA headquarters building at the Navy Yard on September 16, 2013, when the shootings began. After ensuring his coworkers had evacuated the building, he was exiting the building via the stairwell when a coworker half a floor below him was shot. He checked to see if they were being pursued, then, with the assistance of two other employees, helped the victim to the building’s roof. There he provided first aid, kept his coworkers calm, and worked to alert first responders to their location. When EMTs arrived, he assisted with additional first aid and he, the victim, and two coworkers were airlifted from the building. Despite being severely injured, the victim survived and was transported to a trauma center.

A Scoutmaster with Troop 903 in Huntington, Maryland, and an Eagle Scout, Zawislak attributes his first aid training to the Boy Scouts, saying, "Scouting provided me with a foundation that has guided my success as a career Naval Officer, Scoutmaster and father. Fundamentals from Scouting are embedded in my daily life. They are not just words. Scouting taught me leadership, management and life skills such as first aid, citizenship, emergency preparedness and physical fitness that were critical to how I reacted, without consciously thinking, during the active shooter incident." 

The Honor Medal with Crossed Palms is awarded by the Boy Scouts of America in exceptional cases to a youth or adult member who has demonstrated unusual heroism and extraordinary skill or resourcefulness in saving or attempting to save a life at extreme risk to self. In 2013, only 11 such awards were presented nationally. 


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