State’s Attorney Lance Richardson honored James “Jimmy” Vanlew of Stevensville, MD with an Uncommon Valor award for life saving efforts that Vanlew made during the summer of 2017. (Photo: Left to Right: Lance Richardson, State’s Attorney, Helen Katinas, James “Jimmy” Vanlew, Nancy Vanlew and Andy Vanlew)

On a hot summer day in July, 2017 Jimmy Vanlew and two friends were leaving a residence outside of Centreville, MD where they had been doing some work.  As Vanlew was driving on Rt. 18 near Dulin Clark Road he observed a vehicle pulled to the side of the road and several people gathered around an individual lying in the roadside grass.  Vanlew said “I thought someone had passed out due to the extreme heat, so I pulled over to help by offering some water that I had inside the vehicle”.  As Vanlew ran toward the individuals he quickly learned that this was much more serious than an individual in need of water.  He observed a female lying in the grass and another female performing CPR.  He learned that 911 had been called and help was on the way.  The lady performing CPR asked Vanlew if he could help as she was getting tired.  Jimmy did not hesitate and jumped in to take over the CPR efforts until paramedics arrived.

The victim turned out to be the sister of Helen Katinas, owner of Annie’s Paramount Steak House in Grasonville, MD, and the lady performing CPR when Jimmy arrived on scene was Helen herself.  On Monday, August 21, 2017, Jimmy and his parents, Andy and Nancy, were treated to a VIP lunch at Annie’s by Helen, and her husband Mike, as a special thank you for Jimmy’s efforts in attempting to save Helen’s sister.  In presenting the award for Uncommon Valor to Jimmy, Mr. Richardson stated “although Helen’s Sister passed away, Jimmy’s actions on this day were heroic.  It was very touching to hear about a young member of this community not thinking twice about springing into action to do the right thing.  It was an honor to meet Jimmy, along with his parents, and recognize him for these life saving efforts”.

Jimmy is a graduate of Kent Island High School.