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Several officers, citizens to be awarded for outstanding service

Courtesy: MGN Online

PETOSKEY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU)-- The Petoskey Department of Public Safety Honor Board of Review will be awarding department members, public safety personnel from other departments, and citizens for their outstanding service to the community or department.

The 2016 awards will presented to the recipients at the Petoskey City Council meeting Monday.

Here are the awards that will be presented:

Lifesaving Award

PSO James Kushner

PSO John Duch

Calvin Penfold – Emmet EMS Paramedic

Brian Patten – Emmet EMS Paramedic

On June 23, 2016 the Petoskey Department of Public Safety and Emmet Ambulance service were dispatched to a residence for a 58-year-old man who was shaking and experiencing some type of medical condition. Shortly after the arrival of the first responders, the patient went into cardiac arrest, and CPR was started. A defibrillator was used to restore the patient’s cardiac abilities and by the time the crew arrived at McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital the patient had regained a pulse and respirations. Due to the outstanding efforts of those involved, the man’s life was saved.

Lifesaving Award

Lt. Randall Weston

PSO Karl Fritz

PSO Keenan Sugg

Ryan Slifka – Emmet EMS Paramedic

Michelle Hitner – Emmet EMS A EMT

On May 29, 2016 around 9:30 P.M., Petoskey Department of Public Safety and Emmet Ambulance were dispatched to the Inn at Bay Harbor for a report of a 73-year-old woman down, unresponsive and not breathing. Acting quickly, officers and medics performed CPR and used a defibrillator to rescue this patient. By the time the patient arrived at the emergency department, she was conscious and talking to the first responders. The quick actions and team work of the officers and Emmet EMS staff saved this patient’s life.

Lifesaving Award

Lt. David Schultz

On May 14, 2016 around 10:20 A.M. the Petoskey Department of Public Safety was dispatched to the Bear River in the area of Quaintance Avenue. Dispatch indicated a 34-year-old man was in the river holding onto a tree. The river at this time of year is extremely cold and it was snowing at the time. Schultz quickly determined the man was suffering from mental health issues and was trying to commit suicide. Unable to convince the man to come out of the river, Schultz made the decision to go in after him. Schultz was able to physically remove the man from the river and get him to the waiting ambulance. The man’s core temperature was very low and he was subsequently hospitalized for hypothermia. The quick, professional actions of Schultz saved this man’s life and is an example of Schultz’s selfless dedication to this profession as well as to the citizens of Petoskey.

Lifesaving Award

Lt. Randall Weston

PSO Ben Carlson

Sarah Towne – Emmet EMS Paramedic

Calvin McLaughlin – Emmet EMS

On March 9, 2016 at 10:05 P.M., Petoskey Department of Public Safety and Emmet EMS were dispatched to a residence in Petoskey for a 30-year-old woman that had overdosed on heroin. Upon arrival, the unconscious patient had an oxygen saturation of 23%. Officers inserted an airway and began rescue breathing supplemented with high flow oxygen. Emmet EMS staff established an IV in the patient’s lower leg to administer Narcan. After several doses of Narcan, the patient began breathing on her own and began to interact with the emergency responders on scene. This patient was minutes away from death but thanks to the concerted, professional actions of the rescue team her life was saved.

Lifesaving Award

PSO Michael Parker

Trooper Michael Kloss – Michigan State Police

Trooper Richard Carlson – Michigan State Police

On May 12, 2016 around 11:40 P.M., Officer Parker was dispatched to a possible attempted suicide. 911 received a call from a woman stating she received a text from her ex-boyfriend indicating he was in the barn and was going to hang himself. Trooper Richard Carlson and Trooper Michael Kloss were in the Petoskey area and responded to the residence to assist Officer Parker. Upon arrival the three officers found the 24-year-old Petoskey man inside the backyard shed. The man was hanging from a rope tied around his neck. Working together the officer cut the rope, lowered the man to the ground and then cut the rope off his neck. By the time the subject was in the ambulance he was alert and talking to EMS staff. Due to the rapid, cooperative efforts of these officers the man’s life was saved.

Chiefs Award

PSO James Kushner

Officer Joseph Solimanto – Livonia Police Department

Officer Anthony Zelinski – Livonia Police Department

On the evening of October 8, 2016 PSO Kushner was dealing with an intoxicated male that had been asked to leave Tap 30, a restaurant in downtown Petoskey. Officer Kushner was able to convince the somewhat irrational subject to go to his residence a few blocks away and stay away from Tap 30. Shortly thereafter, Kushner observed the subject enter an alley apparently headed back to Tap 30, not knowing the subject was waiting for Kushner to enter the alley and when he did, the subject stepped up to the patrol car and leaned in the open passenger window. As the suspect was yelling at Kushner, and telling him to kill him, two Police Officers with Livonia, Michigan Police Department happened to be close by. Officers Joseph Solimanto and Anthony Zelinski quickly assessed the situation and determined that Officer Kushner may need assistance. Officer Solimanto approached asking the suspect to calm down and as he got closer asked the suspect to step away from the car. The suspect reacted by turning and punching Officer Solimanto in the face. The suspect then continued assaulting Solimanto. Officer Solimanto and Officer Zelinski were physically trying to restrain the suspect and both ordered him to stop resisting. However, the suspect refused to comply. By this time, Officer Kushner was able to exit his patrol car and draw his Taser. The suspect was warned he was going to be Tased but continued to fight with the officers. Subsequently, Officer Kushner deployed his Taser striking the suspect. Officers were then able to handcuff the suspect and place him under arrest. Further investigation showed the reason the suspect was kicked out of Tap 30 was because he physically assaulted an employee. The outstanding alertness of Officers Solimanto and Zelinski along with the quick actions of all officers resulted in a potentially dangerous person taken off the streets.

Public Safety Citation

Public Safety Cadet Baylon Kerr

On June 1, 2016 shortly after 3:00 A.M., Cadet Kerr was headed home after his shift with the Petoskey Department of Public Safety. As he passed a residence in rural Northern Emmet County, he observed a tree and grassy area on fire. As Cadet Kerr approached the residence he noted the flames were getting close to the home. After calling 911 Cadet Kerr was able to awaken the family sleeping inside and assisted the mother and four children with exiting the building. Cadet Kerr’s keen observation and quick action prevented what could have been a very tragic event.

Citizens Award

Kelly Kaatz

On November 14, 2016 just before 9:00 A.M. Kelly Kaatz observed a young girl about 7 or 8 years of age walking west on Charlevoix Avenue. The young girl caught her attention because she had observed her earlier by St. Francis School and Kaatz reasoned the young girl should be in school. Kaatz called 911 to report her concerns and continued to keep track of the young girl until police arrived on scene. Officers learned that the 9 year old girl was running away from home. Due to the keen observations and quick actions of Kelly Kaatz this young girl was returned to her family before any harm came to her. Kelly Kaatz is hereby recognized for being an outstanding citizen.

Citizens Award

Steve Cross

In the spring of 2016 Petoskey City Council approved a proposal for a Public Safety millage aimed at raising revenue to replace very old firefighting equipment. The proposed millage was to be on the ballot for the August 2 Primary Election. Shortly thereafter, a citizen committee was formed to advocate for the millage. Steve Cross was named Chairman of the “Stay Safe Petoskey” Committee. It was evident very early on that Mr. Cross was passionate about this cause and his energetic personality caused others to be passionate about the upcoming millage. Mr. Cross volunteered countless hours to ensure the citizens of Petoskey were well informed as to the needs of the Public Safety Department and the specifics of the millage. Thanks in a large part to the hard work of Steve Cross, the millage passed overwhelmingly.

Steve Cross truly embodies the spirit of the community. His dedication and service to the community is an inspiration to us all.

Mayors Award

Merrilee Newman

Since November 23, 1992 Merilee Newman has taken time every school day to make sure children can safely walk to and from school. For 24 years, she has been a school crossing guard at the corner of Jennings/Klondike/Northmen Drive. Her selfless dedication to the children, the schools and the community as a whole are hereby recognized as exemplary.

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