A 22-year-old volunteer fire fighter who saved a family of six from their burning home has received the state’s highest distinction for heroism. Rusty Shore of Albion was off-duty last January 24th when he noticed a house outside of Albion on fire. Cindy Shattuck was inside that burning home. Shattuck says Shore broke through the kitchen door and told the family’s oldest son who was there to get out. Then, Shore went into the living room and roused Cindy, the mother of the house, who was sleeping on the couch. By that time, the porch was full of smoke. Shattuck says Shore made five different trips into the burning homes to get all the family members out. Shattuck is sure that if it weren’t for Shore, the family would have slept through the fire and perished. Shattuck says that’s why she thanks God for Rusty’s intervention, which may have been guided, she thinks, by a divine hand. Shattuck says Shore has a “heart of gold” and is “a good boy” who’s proven he’s a hero. Shore joined the Albion fire department when he was 18 and had trained monthly in fire rescue techniques. Shore says he didn’t hesitate for a second once he saw the house on fire. The Governor pinned a medal on Shore during a ceremony at the statehouse Friday afternoon. Shore’s taking classes at Marshalltown Community College. Shore says his main goal is to become a highway patrolman. The “Sullivan Brothers Award of Valor” Shore was presented used to be called the Governor’s Award of Valor, and it recognizes police and fire fighters who do something above and beyond the normal call of duty. Governor Tom Vilsack says Shore risked his life to save others.Vilsack says the five Sullivan brothers of Waterloo asked to serve together on the same ship during World War II, and died together when their ship went down in the Pacific. Vilsack says he renamed the Award of Valor in honor of the brothers to “make sure there was a connection to the tradition that Iowans have of putting service above self.” Vilsack says Shore is one of Iowa’s unsung heroes. Vilsack says young people need to understand what a real hero is as the term hero is sometimes applied to people who “can hit a baseball a mile or catch a football.” Vilsack says that’s not what real heroism is about. He says Rusty Shore is a true hero.
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