Garod Cavanaugh, 31, was working as the chief sound technician at an Indianapolis outdoor concert when the high winds of a powerful storm caused the stage to collapse.
Cavanaugh quickly checked on his crew members via radio to make sure they were OK. Then he instructed them to turn off the generators.
Cavanaugh went to the front of the stage to prevent the crowd from touching any part of it that might have become electrified by the lightning.
In one of the sound company’s tents nearby, Cavanaugh found one crew member in shock and another with a bleeding head wound. He applied pressure using a T-shirt to stop the bleeding and sent both men to an area near the front of the stage where a medical unit had been set up to treat victims of the collapse.
Ambulances were waiting as Cavanaugh helped other injured crew members out of the rubble of the fallen stage.
Cavanaugh and other volunteers raised the front of the stage using a bicycle rack so those trapped underneath could be rescued. He then assisted state police in securing the accident scene. Seven people died and 58 were injured during the incident.
Eagle Scout Garod Christian Cavanaugh, an assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 245 in Greenwood, Ind., received an Honor Medal With Crossed Palms for his actions. It is Scouting’s highest award for bravery.
READ MORE SCOUTERS IN ACTION STORIES AT SCOUTINGMAGAZINE.ORG/SIA
“Scouters in Action” subjects come from the National BSA Court of Honor. If you know of an act of heroism that should be recognized, contact your local BSA council office for a lifesaving or meritorious award application. Note: Consult approved safety guidelines, as actions depicted here may not precisely follow standard procedures.
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