Good citizenship equals personal responsibilties. And sometimes it equals doing the right thing when the right thing is very difficult. The workers who rescued 18-year-old Forest Service worker Zach Gray from a bee attack near the Northeast Oregon Interagency Fire Center deserve a big round of applause for their heroism.
Darren Coon and Shannon Rogers, who drove their pickup to the rescue despite the risks involved, show one person can make a big difference. If they had not whisked Gray away, hosed him off and called 9-1-1 for a prompt medical response, Gray could have died in the attack.
The heroes showed tremendous courage to do the right thing. Nearly all of us have been stung by a bee at one time or another. Some of us, although it is a very small percentage of the total population, about 2 million people in America, are even allergic to bee and other insect stings, although the severity of the reactions vary greatly. But allergies should not be taken lightly. According to MedicineNet.com, severe allergic reactions to insect stings are responsible for at least 50 deaths each year in the United States.
One reason multiple honey bee stings can be such a danger is that their stinger is barbed and usually remains in the skin. Venom continues to enter the skin for 45 to 60 seconds following a sting. In a normal situation, it is good to remove the stinger as quickly as possible. Gray’s situation, however, was far from normal. Eyewitnesses said they couldn’t even see his face for the bees, and there was no possibility of reducing the venom being delivered.
Coon and Roger’s alert and timely actions help restore a person’s faith in humanity. It’s good to know that when a person gets in a tight situation, there are people willing, ready and able to step up and save the day. They are a role model for others in the community. The heroes deserve the community’s gratitude for a job well done.