OMAHA (KPTM)- Jack Pape has been a boy scout since childhood. He credits this experience for training him to adapt to any situation.
When a tornado ripped through Little Sioux in 2009, he was at a boy scout retreat. Several boys were killed, and Jack used CPR to save other's lives, a skill he learned through the organization.
Looking back on that day, he says " I didn't think when I did it, it was just get up look around what needs to be done, at that point it was just training that kicked in second nature,it wasn't until after that I was like wow what just happened.
A year later, jack was faced with a similar situation on a family vacation. A little boy fell into a pool. Jack gave him CPR. Though in this case it did not save the boy's life, it did buy the child time.
One Red Cross spokesperson, Danelle, Schlegemilch says that because he was able to perform CPR, the boy's family " got to spend a little more time with him."
Because of Jack's attempts and successes in utilizing CPR, the American Red Cross has awarded him with the highest award they offer, The Certificate of Merit
For Jack, "It means a lot, It says a lot about what they can teach you and how important learning this stuff really is, just learn it, you don't have to be a boy scout, but it really does mean a lot to me and I'm very thankful for it
Jill Orton, Chief Services Officer for the regional American Red Cross explains "In my time frame with being with the red cross, 17 years, I can count on two hands how many we've given out in this award. I've been trained for years and years and never even had the opportunity, and for him to give that gift to be prepared but then to give that out to those that are in need"
Plenty were in attendance at the award ceremony, including Lloyd Roitstein, the Executive Director of the MidAmerica Boy Scouts. He says the organization is "thrilled that one of our scouts is being honored for heroism and we teach them how to be prepared for anything in life, when something like this happens makes feel good that what we teach is being utilized and those young men are prepared for anything in life.
His parents commented, "We're very proud, and we were a little worried about him because there are bad memories involved, but very proud, brings tears to your eyes."
His parents continue that they are proud of his humility, describing, "he even said you know mom there was other boys there doing it to, and I think he wants people to know that."
Organizers say Jack lives up to the boy scout motto of always being prepared.
Roistein assures, "You don't have to save a life to be a role model and a positive community leader"
Jack expresses his gratitude and hopes "people take from this how important it is to learn that because if I wouldn't have I wouldn't be receiving this and there'd be a few less boys, so I just think that it's important that everyone learns because you never know when you're going to need it to save the life of a friend or another person."