VIDEO: Chilliwack woman awarded Carnegie medal for heroism

VIDEO: Chilliwack woman awarded Carnegie medal for heroism

Julie Callaghan seriously injured when she tried to save a man stuck in wheelchair on rail tracks

Tears were inevitable for Julie Callaghan Friday as she was the centre of attention at the Chilliwack RCMP detachment, surrounded by firefighters, Mounties, CN Rail officers and others.

Callaghan’s brave attempt to rescue a man in a wheelchair stuck on rail tracks in 2018 was honoured with the Carnegie Medal for Extraordinary Heroism.

The president of the Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Hero Fund Commission was in Chilliwack to give Callaghan her medal.

In describing Callaghan’s actions that fateful day on May 26, 2018, Eric Zahren pointed out that the word “unsuccessful rescue” is not a term the foundation ever uses.

The front of Julie Callaghan’s Carnegie Medal for Extraordinary Heroism given to her on Dec. 13, 2019. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

“In our long experience in these matters, it’s been shown there is no such thing as an unsuccessful rescue,” Zahren said. “Even in cases where, despite the best efforts of the rescuer, the victim does not survive, we know that the rescuer’s actions have made all the difference to the families… and to the victim’s themselves in their final terrifying moments were given hope and comfort by another individual who had come for them.”

• READ MORE: Chilliwack woman who tried to save man stuck on rail tracks called a ‘hero’

Callaghan was in her car on Broadway Avenue at the rail crossing that day in 2018. Matthew Jarvis was crossing the tracks when the rear wheels of his wheelchair got stuck in the tracks. Callaghan and another woman sprung into action trying to free him from the predicament.

The entire action took about 15 seconds, and at the last second she tried to escape but a train travelling at 80 kilometres an hour crashed into her hand, killing Jarvis.

Her hand was severely damaged and on Oct. 21, 2019, she had three fingers and part of it amputated.

• READ MORE: Chilliwack woman struck by train while trying to save man has partial hand amputation

In receiving the medal, Callaghan was emotional, thanking the first responders on the scene, firefighters and police officers.

“I don’t really know what to say, thank you,” she said. “It’s been an overwhelming year for sure and it really hasn’t stopped, it just keeps going. I’ve got all your backs if you are in trouble. I’d do it all again.”


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

VIDEO: Chilliwack woman awarded Carnegie medal for heroism

VIDEO: Chilliwack woman awarded Carnegie medal for heroism

VIDEO: Chilliwack woman awarded Carnegie medal for heroism

VIDEO: Chilliwack woman awarded Carnegie medal for heroism

Just Posted

Woody’s RV World hosts a grand opening for its brand-new Abbotsford location on Saturday. (YouTube)
Woody’s RV World hosts Abbotsford grand opening on Saturday

First-ever B.C. location for successful RV chain, located on Marshall Road

Gary Abbott performs a traditional hoop dance, National Aboriginal Peoples Day in Chilliwack, 2016. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Indigenous Peoples’ Day brings a virtual celebration of culture on June 21

Event to showcase Métis dancing, traditional Stólō songs, dancing, pow wows and storytelling

A t-shirt designed by Coast Salish artist Bonny Graham (B. Wyse) includes the phrase ‘every child matters’ in a custom font inspired by Coast Salish design.
Chilliwack FC works with Stó:lō Nation Chiefs Council on t-shirt fundraiser

The youth soccer organization will sell custom-designed orange shirts, donating proceeds to the SNCC

Wilma’s Transition House Charity Golf Tournament takes place Aug. 21, 2021.
Buzz building for 2021 Wilma’s Transition House Charity Golf Tournament

The key fundraiser for the non-profit will be held Aug. 21 at the Cultus Lake Golf Course

Special weather statement issued for Fraser Valley as first summer heat arrives June 20, 2021, and set to persist all week. (Photo by James Day on Unsplash)
Second day of hot temperatures rippling across Fraser Valley

Communities from Abbotsford to Hope will see daytime high maximum temps of 32 degrees

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Emergency crews shut down White Rock’s Five Corners district on Feb. 19, 2020 following an assault. (File photo)
Trial underway in February 2020 death of White Rock senior

Ross Banner charged with manslaughter following Five Corners altercation

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Most Read