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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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093020frontlifesaving.jpg

HONORED FOR SAVING LIVES - These City of Marinette Firefighters and Marinette County Deputies holding certificates in the photo above were honored at the Marinette County Board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 29 for effective and selfless responses that saved the lives of two Marinette County residents recently - one in Crivitz and one in the Town of Peshtigo. Shown left to right are Marinette City Fire Chief Jay Heckel, Firefighter Chris Erickson, Firefighter Jason Lemire, Lieutenant Matthew Piikkila, Deputy Mike Nickels, Sheriff Sauve, Deputy Patrick Callahan, Deputy Brad Wyss.

County Deputies, City Firefighters Honored For Life Saving Actions

Issue Date: September 30, 2020

Three Marinette County Sheriff's Department deputies and three City of Marinette firefighters were honored at the Marinette County Board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 29 for quick and effective responses that saved the lives of two Marinette County residents in the past two months.

"We certainly have some great partners in public safety here in Marinette County," Sheriff Jerry Sauve declared as he and City of Marinette Fire Chief Jay Heckel prepared to present their respective lifesaver awards to Sheriff's Deputies Mike Nickels, Patrick Callahan and Brad Wyss and firefighters Jason Lemire and Chris Erickson and Lieutenant Matthew Pikkila.

Sauve said on Saturday, Sept. 12, Wyss and Callahan were dispatched to a report of a possible drug overdose in the Town of Stephenson. "Although the victim was believed to have been deceased, life saving measures were initiated," Sauve said.

By telephone, Emergency Dispatcher Katie Van De Walle was helping the victim's mother perform CPR when Deputy Wyss arrived. The male victim was found to be in grave condition with no signs of life. Prior to Deputy Callahan's arrival, Deputy Wyss administered two separate doses of NARCAN and took over CPR. When Deputy Callahan arrived he administered two additional doses of NARCAN and took other measures to help revive the victim.

"Ultimately, the victim was successfully revived and began breathing on his own," Sauve declared. The victim was transported by Crivitz Rescue to receive further medical attention.

Upon reviewing reports of the incident, I am inclined to accept Sgt. Randy Miller's recommendation of Commendations for the lifesaving actions of both deputies, Sauve declared. "Their prompt response and skillful assessment of the situation were clearly instrumental in saving the life of this young man!"

"Congratulations on a job well done," Sauve told the two. "Continue to strive to do your best. You are both a valued asset to our agency and to the communities you serve. On this date, I hereby announce Deputy Brad Wyss and Deputy Patrick Callahan be recognized for their actions with a Life Saving Award and Commendation Bar that can be worn on their uniforms."

Sauve noted this was the second lifesaving commendation for Callahan, and also that Sept. 29 was Callahan's birthday.

Sauve then recounted the events on Sunday, Aug. 16, when Deputy Michael Nickels was dispatched to a residence in the Town of Peshtigo where it had been reported that an emotionally distressed female was causing a disturbance. Prior to his arrival, Deputy Nickels was notified that the female had left the residence and was swimming in the Bay near Little River Boat Landing.

"Based on the totality of the information he had received, Deputy Nickels quickly realized that he would need additional assistance," Sauve said. "He requested to have Marinette Police Department along with fire and rescue respond as well. Upon arriving on the scene at about 2:26 p.m. he observed what appeared to be a female swimming about 100 yards off shore. Using a boat provided by Marinette Fire Department, Deputy Nickels and a member of the Marinette Fire Department attempted to make contact with the individual."

"The emotional female was found to be belligerent and uncooperative," Sauve said."She actively resisted any assistance to bring her back to shore and continued to be irrational. When it was apparent she was becoming too tired to continue swimming, Deputy Nickels and the fireman entered the water with her and ultimately towed her back to shore."

"Despite being soaked through, berated, and physically assaulted, Deputy Nickels remained with the female for the remainder of his shift and well past the end of the shift to ensure her safety and well being," Sauve declared.

"It is my opinion that Deputy Nickels' actions saved the life of this individual. He went above and beyond to ensure that she was no longer a threat to herself and others, His quick actions and courageous efforts prevented her from drowning in spite of the potential risk to his own safety," Sauve continued and concluded, "On this date, I hereby announce Deputy Michael Nickels be recognized for his actions with a Life Saving Award and a commendation bar that can be worn on his uniform."

In addition to being presented to the officers who earned them, copies of the commendations and lifesaving bars will be displayed on a wall in the Sheriff's Office, Sauve said.

Before concluding his presentations Sauve thanked all who helped in the search for the remains of Janet Fullerton in the Town of Wagner over the preceding weekend. Fullerton had been missing since August of 2017. Remains believed to be hers were found by some of the 130 volunteers who joined in the search in a heavily wooded and swampy remote area on Sunday Sept. 27 after new clues were discovered on a nearby cabin's trail cam.

"Around the clock, we're on watch to protect life and property in this county," Sauve declared before turning the program over to Fire Chief Heckel. Heckel presented life saving commendations to firefighters Chris Erickson, Jason Lemire and Lt.. Matt Pikkila, who had responded to Nickels' call for assistance. Erickson prepared the boat and Pikkila and Erickson went out with Nickels to pull the woman safely back to shore and out of the water.

In other business of the meeting, County Clerk Kathy Brandt reported on new voting machines and coming changes in election procedures and County Forest Administrator Pete Vilas gave his annual report

County Administrator John LeFebvre presented his annual budget message in preparation for budget adoption later in October, discussed a proposal for the county to purchase the former Duer Gym in Marinette, and reported on County Park and Tourism activities including the Fall Color Tour promotion and the halloween event for Campers at Twin Bridge park, which is nearly full.

He also updated the board on a request that the City of Marinette keep the one block section of Ella Court Street adjacent to the courthouse one way and and on progress of the Ella Court Building renovation project.

LeFebvre told County Board that on Friday, Sept. 25 the new York Times had identified Marinette County as the fourth worst Covid-19 affected metro area in the county in terms of the rising number of cases. By Monday, the country had fallen to 19th place.


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