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Washington, DC- U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch today congratulated Sagle resident Dr. Forrest M. Bird for receiving the National Medal of Technology and Innovation - the Nation's highest honor bestowed for technological achievement.

Dr. Bird, inventor of mobile and mass-produced medical respirators, received the award from President Obama Wednesday at a ceremony in the White House. The ‘Bird Mark 7' respirator became the world standard in the medical field, and his ‘Baby Bird' respirator has dramatically reduced the mortality of premature babies.

"There may be no higher calling than the saving of lives," said Crapo. "Dr. Bird is most deserving of this award. There are many, many children and adults alive today because of his technological breakthroughs in the realm of respiratory care. He stands as one of Idaho's medical giants--one most deserving of the nation's leading award for technology and innovation."

"We are honored to have Dr. Bird as a resident of Idaho and congratulate him on this outstanding honor. His inventions and innovations have brought the gift of life to countless people throughout the world," said Risch. "We are also proud to have his lifesaving devices manufactured in north Idaho."

A production facility that employs 25 people is located outside of Sandpoint where respirators are assembled. It is also the location of the Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center.

Dr. Bird is in the National Inventors Hall of Fame and is a Living Legend of Aviation honoree. He also received the Presidential Citizens Medal from President George W. Bush in 2008. The medal is given to citizens who have performed outstanding deeds of service for the country. Dr. Bird holds over 200 patents and has been featured on CBS' "60 Minutes."