Eagle Scout Daniel Konzelman was honored Wednesday morning for his work rescuing 15 people in the minutes after December’s Amtrak train derailment.
Konzelman was on his way to work with a co-worker when he saw the derailed train and immediately jumped in to rescue whoever he could as ambulances rushed to the scene.
“I think it just comes down to being able to do whatever you can to serve those people and make them feel as comfortable as they can. Nobody wants to be in that situation,” Konzelman said. “I’ve been really honored and humbled. I think that lots of people probably would have done what I did if they had been there. And so I was, in all honesty, I am just grateful to have had the opportunity to serve and help.”
The Pacific Harbors Council of the Boy Scouts of American presented Konzelman the North Star Award, a national award that recognizes distinguished service in Scouting, at the Friends of Scouting breakfast in Tacoma.
“You wouldn’t think that blessings would come out of a situation like that, but I feel like that if they did, I feel that I’m the one most impacted, most humbled, and most changed by that event, just because of the perspective that I had. I think it really opened my heart up to loving people better because of just how fragile and valuable people are now,” Konzelman said. “In a situation like this where you really become in tune with your fragility, like our life can be taken in a heartbeat, or changed in a heartbeat, I think it’s really eye-opening to really evaluate like what’s really important.”
Konzelman said his heart is continually with the people severely injured and killed during the derailment and said he feels fortunate to have gotten to know many of the survivors.
“I’m thankful for what I’ve learned through this experience, amazing people, incredible people, and I’m just thankful for the blessings I have today. The ability to walk and talk and live and love,” Konzelman said. “In boy scouts they tell you to do a good turn daily, and not that that was my good turn for the day, but I think that looking out for the needs of others, and doing your best to make the world a better place, I think that that is something that you can do every day.”