• Two Washington State Ferries crew members given lifesaving award

    By: Joanna Small

    Updated:

    Two Washington State Ferries employees are being honored for their heroic actions on Oct. 20.

    That day, as the Ferry Spokane was pulling into the Edmonds Ferry Terminal, which it does dozens of times every day, two crew members found themselves going overboard—intentionally.

    Odds are if you see able seamen Jason Rossi and Wayne Reed on the job, they’re guiding vehicles on and off the ferry. 

    But when something goes awry, they’re fighting fires, administering first aid and jumping ship. 

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    “It’s just, yeah, you know, it’s what we do. 

    We go back and forth, see somebody in trouble -- whether it’s in the cabin here or out on the water,” Rossi and Reed said. 

    “We try to do our best to help them out. I know I’d want help if I was in trouble,” Rossi said.

    So, when a kayaker went underneath the dock in Edmonds, Rossi and Reed got on a lifeboat and went to his rescue.

    “It was little windy that day so we came up downwind of him and got him in the boat, saw the Fire Department waiting out on the beach. So we took him over to the beach and the medics took it from there,” Rossi said. 

     “(Then we) came back in and finished our day.”

    Both men are humble although, in the 20 and 10 years they’ve worked for the ferry system, both have been involved in several rescues.

    “One was a diver. Another was a kayak. I had a kid drive off the Kingston beach,” Rossi said.

    “This is the first time I actually pulled somebody out of the water,” Reed said of the Oct. 20 rescue.

    That fact was not lost on Washington State Ferry officials.

    On Thursday, Rossi and Reed received the Life Ring Award. 
    Other crew members and administrations applauded their actions and then the two went right back to directing traffic, as if it never happened at all.

    “Hey, it’s what we’re trained to do. 

    When we can send somebody home, it’s a good day,” the men said.
     

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