Recognizing Everyday Heroes

Tuesday was one of my favorite council meetings of the year …

In conjunction with National Peace Officers Week and National EMS Week, the South Milwaukee Police and Fire Departments held their annual department awards to recognize selected staff and citizens from the community.

You can see the full list of police award winners here. It’s an impressive list, and congratulations to everyone who was honored. I’ll call out the Hintzes and Daniel Smith, citizens who stepped up to help catch a burglar.

On October 21, 2015 Mr. & Mrs. Hintz observed a subject walking in South Milwaukee that resembled a subject they had seen on the news that the Police Department was looking for.  This subject had recently burglarized a business in South Milwaukee.  Officers checked the area where Mr. & Mrs. Hintz had last seen the subject and initially did not locate him. Mr. Smith contacted the South Milwaukee Police Department after viewing surveillance video from a burglary of a local business on Facebook.  He advised the Police Department he recognized the subject and provided a name and address for this subject. With Mr. Smith’s information and Mr. & Mrs. Hintz’s information officers were able to locate this subject and take him into custody for the burglary.  This subject was subsequently charged by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office with several charges of burglary.  Through the investigation it was determined this subject had committed other burglaries in the city.  Without Mr. & Mrs. Hintz and Mr. Smith’s assistance this subject possibly would not have been located and would have continued to commit other crimes in South Milwaukee.        

Daniel Smith was at the meeting and is pictured above.

The EMS award was also special — a great example of people (Recreation Department staff and the police and fire departments) working together to save a life. That person, Dennis Priest, was at Tuesday’s meeting and is also pictured. Here is the story …

In the world of Emergency Medical Services (EMS), the chance of surviving sudden cardiac arrest is directly influenced by a series of actions that has come to be known as the “Chain of Survival.”  This “chain,” when put into motion, reduces the mortality associated with cardiac arrest.  Like any chain, the chain of survival is only as strong as its weakest link. The four interdependent links in the chain of survival are early recognition of cardiac arrest and access to EMS (calling 9-1-1), early CPR, early defibrillation, and early access to advanced life support (paramedic) services.  On September 18, 2015, all of these links fell into place when 67-year old Dennis Priest of Greenfield collapsed while walking the indoor track at the South Milwaukee High School Fitness Center.  Dennis’ collapsed was discovered by a worker at the Fitness Center who recognized the emergency and quickly called 9-1-1 and started CPR. The worker was quickly joined by the SMPD School Liaison Officer who assisted with CPR until the arrival of an on-duty SMFD Fire Lieutenant who just happened to be nearby returning to the station.  These rescuers were soon joined by crews from SMFD who continued advanced life support efforts and got Dennis’ pulse to return.  It is without a doubt that the Chain of Survival fell into place that morning and led to the successful resuscitation of a victim of sudden cardiac arrest.

Forming that chain and honored Tuesday evening were fitness center employee Carolyn Stojsavlevic, South Milwaukee Police Officer Tim Lewison, and South Milwaukee Fire Department members Captain Craig Boschke, Firefighter/Paramedics Jerre Schlax and Ryan Wendt and Firefighter/EMTs Ron Wainio and Nate Fager.

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