Jim Rosse (or Hawk, as he is known to his friends in the SCA) is a long-time volunteer with the Castleton Volunteer Ambulance squad in New York state and of the South Schodack Volunteer Fire Department. In the SCA, he is extremely active in the Chirurgeonate and has served twice as Pennsic War Chirurgeon, and is currently Deputy Society Chirurgeon.
On July 16, 2006, Jim responded with his colleagues to a house that had exploded and caught fire. When they arrived at the scene, they found only a pile of rubble where the house had once stood, and a neighbor informed them that a 10-year-old child was still trapped in the debris that had fallen into the basement of the home. Two other people were killed in the explosion.
After carefully assessing the situation, Jim made the decision to enter the debris pile to try to rescue young Amore Swann. He crawled into the mess through a basement window, crawling through gaps in the debris to reach the girl. When he found her, she was alive and conscious, but injured, and had fortunately been partially protected from the explosion's force by a fiberglass bathtub. Jim found that she had several head injuries and probably a broken leg, and that she was showing signs of shock from the trauma. (Shock is a serious medical condition in which blood flow to the body is not sufficient to deliver enough oxygen.)
While several members of the rescue team began removing debris so that Amore Swann could be pulled to safety, others used water to suppress the fire and keep it away from the team. Jim stayed with the patient and helped direct rescue efforts from his vantage point inside the debris pile. Eventually, the young lady was safely loaded onto a backboard and stabilized so she could be lifted to safety. A helicopter ambulance transported her directly to Albany Medical Center Trauma Hospital, where she eventually made a full recovery.
For his bravery on that day, Jim was recognized as 2007 EMS Provider of the Year by the Fireman's Association of the State of New York (FASNY), and by Rensellaer County, where he lives. The announcement from FASNY says that Ross performed "an outstanding act well beyond his call of duty on an extraordinary incident. His experience in USAR team methods, EMT medical experience and firefighting capabilities ensured a positive outcome for the patient during this deadly incident."
Jim Rosse combines firefighting and emergency medical care as a Firefighter/EMT for those departments, following a family tradition. His father is a long-time volunteer firefighter, and his mother recently became a firefighter as well. He also serves on the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Task force for NY State, and he was one of thousands of volunteers who worked at the site of the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City. His girlfriend, Diane Hauer (known in the SCA as Lady Svanhildr Karlsdottir), is also a Firefighter/EMT in same fire department and ambulance service.
In the SCA, Lord Hawk is a valued member of the Pennsic Chirurgeonate and the East Kingdom Chirurgeonate, having served as Pennsic War Chirurgeon, East Kingdom Chirurgeon, and Deputy Society Chirurgeon. He has also put his knowledge of the Incident Command System (ICS) to good use within the SCA, assisting the Pennsic senior staff with planning for contingencies in the event of a major disaster at War.
When asked about his role in the rescue, Hawk modestly replies that he was just doing the job he was trained to do. The recognition he has received for the rescue, he says, is still new enough that he hasn't yet had time to mentally digest it. But he plans to continue with the fire and EMS service, and the Chirurgeonate, doing what he has trained to do.