Navy Capt. Edward “Chip” Zawislak is a real-life superhero, and he learned those skills in Scouting.
Zawislak, an Eagle Scout and Scouter with Troop 903 in Southern Maryland, rescued and used first aid on a woman shot during the Washington Navy Yard attack on Sept. 16, 2013.
Yesterday, the BSA’s National Capital Area Council honored Zawislak (at center in the photo above) with its highest lifesaving award: the Honor Medal with Crossed Palms. An average of four of those awards are presented per year nationwide.
A lone gunman, whose name I won’t include here, killed 12 during the shooting and injured three. One of those injured was Jennifer Bennett, who was shot in the chest.
As this Washington Post story explains, Zawislak and two co-workers carried Bennett up some stairs to the only open door they could find. It led to the building’s roof. Still unsure whether the shooter knew they were up there, Zawislak stayed focused and applied pressure to Bennett’s wounds for more than an hour.
Zawislak, 45, told another civilian to write a note saying there were four people on the roof and throw it down to police. Soon after, a police officer arrived, helped stabilize Bennett and guarded the door while the four civilians were rescued by helicopter.
Bennett made a full recovery and sat in the front row during Thursday’s ceremony honoring Zawislak.
Hearing Bennett recount to the Post the story of Zawislak’s heroism gives me goosebumps. What she describes is exactly how you’d expect an Eagle Scout to react in the most dramatic situation imaginable: Continue reading