Donald Lowrie, Monroe County Fleet Management mechanic generator technician and 2018 Employee of the Year, will be awarded the prestigious Carnegie Medal – the highest honor for civilian heroism in the United States – for his actions on May 6, 2018 when he saved an 8-year-old girl being attacked by two dogs in her home. After hearing screaming, Lowrie arrived at the girl’s home, where the dogs chased him, causing him to fall down a flight of stairs and break his wrist, among other injuries. One of the dogs bit him in several places, while the other stood nearby, barking. Lowrie held the dog by its collar until the attack ceased. Both the girl and Lowrie were taken to the hospital with major injuries requiring surgery. Both have since recovered.

“If it wasn’t for Mr. Lowrie’s actions, things may have been much worse,” Assistant County Administrator Kevin Wilson said. “Mr. Lowrie did not hesitate to put himself in danger, possibly saving the life of a small child.”

Lowrie lives in Islamorada and is the only recipient from Florida out of the 16 other recipients being honored for entering a dangerous or life-threatening situation to rescue others. A total of 10,185 Carnegie Medals have been awarded since the Pittsburgh-based fund’s inception in 1904.

Lowrie joins three other Florida Keys Carnegie Medal heroes: Gertrude Bush, 16, who in 1915 saved someone from drowning in Key West; C. Raymond Shook, 52, who in 1970 died trying to save a fisherman who fell off an Islamorada bridge; and Patrick McGeogh Jr., 26, of Key West, who in 2006 was honored for saving someone stuck in a submerged car in Texas.