Chaplain Mathew Stout is the 2017 Civilian of the Year for his assistance to crash victims he discovered in an isolated ravine in Georgia.
While vacationing in the Georgia Mountains Chaplain Mat Stout and his brother-in-law stopped to investigate a vehicle smashed against trees on top of a ravine. At this time, there were no other vehicles stopped and no other authorities or EMS.
Chaplain Stout's wife Melissa contacted EMS while he and his brotherin-law Bobby Marcoux were able to open the doors to the vehicle. They saw two toddlers (ages 1 1/2 and 3) in car seats crying; one was in the front seat and the other in the back seat, and were able to remove them while still in their carriers. As the girls were frightened and traumatized, they received water, and the Stout's little dog was used for comfort for the girls to pet.
The mother of the toddlers was pinned in the vehicle and was unable to feel her legs. EMS arrived and secured the vehicle from sliding down the embankment. The Jaws of Life was used to free the mother who was conscious. The mother was flown to Chattanooga Hospital where she was in serious but stable condition. The children were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Due to the quick response and actions of Chaplain Mat Stout, his wife and brother-in-law, they may have prevented further injury of the victims and possible death.
We are proud to name Chaplain Stout as our Civilian of the Year for 2017.