Sheriff’s deputy named ‘Carnegie Hero’

Published 11:21 am Thursday, September 20, 2018

Sixteen people — 15 Americans and one Canadian — make up the most recent class of those named Carnegie Heroes for risking their lives for others found in perilous circumstances, according to a press release from the Carnegie Fund Hero Commission. One of this year’s heroes is Ronald W. “Ronnie” Manning of Bogalusa, a Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy.

Manning saved Bridget D. Stogner and Brittany R. Purvis from burning in Bogalusa on July 14, 2017. Stogner, 34, and Purvis, 30, were in the front seats of a sedan that left a rural road and came to rest on its passenger side at the edge of a wooded area. Its front end caught fire.

Manning, 68, was on duty and working for his department nearby when he saw smoke and responded to the accident scene. Seeing flames and hearing screams for help, he brought a small fire extinguisher from his vehicle and emptied it on the fire that issued from the engine compartment. Unable to extinguish the fire, Manning retrieved a hammer from his vehicle and used it to break out an opening in the sedan’s rear windshield.

Inside the car, Stogner had crawled to the rear windshield. Manning, partially entering the vehicle despite the front-end flames, grasped her arms and pulled her through the opening. Manning then fully entered the vehicle through the opening and knelt on the rear, passenger-side door.

He extended his arms out and told Purvis to grasp his arms; she did so. He grasped her arms and backed toward the rear windshield, then exited through the opening as he removed her from the vehicle. Flames grew to engulf the front passenger compartment. Stogner suffered smoke inhalation and a cut to her head.

Manning is a retired firefighter who has been employed with the WPSO since July 1, 2008. Manning effectively serves as a process server, making certain that all legal documents from the courts and the Clerk of Court office are delivered to the intended recipients.

Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal commented on Manning’s honor.

“What a tremendous honor to have one of our own nationally recognized by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission for his heroic life-saving action on July 14, 2017,” Seal said. “Deputy Manning is an humble man who seeks no recognition on his own. It was our pleasure to nominate him for this prestigious award. Congratulations, Ronnie, for a job well done!”

Manning is the second Washington Parish resident to receive the national award in just the last three years. Leyton Page of Bogalusa was 16 when he helped save Jacob Morris, 8, and John Morgan, 6, from drowning in Bush on March 28, 2015.

Page’s award was announced in September of 2016, and he received a medal at the Bogalusa City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 2, 2017.

The Carnegie Medal is given throughout the United States and Canada to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others. The heroes announced Thursday are the third group of awards made in 2018 and bring to 10,044 the total number since the Pittsburgh-based Fund’s inception in 1904. Commission Chair Mark Laskow said each of the awardees or their survivors will also receive a financial grant.

Throughout the 114 years since the Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, $40.4 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.

The other awardees announced Thursday were: Ana Maria Ramirez, Turlock, Calif.; Liam Bernard, Chapel Island, Nova Scotia, Canada; Blake Keith Huff, Kalkaska, Mich.; Benjamin M. Hawkins, Kalkaska, Mich.; Delbert G. Blare, Melbourne, Fla. (deceased); Michael Eugene Chestnut, Foster, Ky.; John Hazelrigg, Lunenburg, Mass.; Russell D. Phippen, North Billerica, Mass.; Sean Zacharey Thayne, Sandy, Utah (deceased); Jay Agli, Meriden, Conn. (deceased); John E. Meffert, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.; Jason A. Sigelow, Rochester, N.Y. (deceased); Philip Russell Orzech, West Hartford, Conn.; Jennifer E. Emo, St. Louis, Mo.; and Andrew William Miller, Frisco, Texas.

To nominate someone for the Carnegie Medal, complete a nomination form online, write the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission at 436 Seventh Ave., Suite 1101, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, or call 1-800-447-8900 (toll-free). More information on the Carnegie Medal and the history of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission can be found at