(SANILAC COUNTY) -- Four Sanilac County residents were honored as "Citizens of the Year" for two separate life-saving incidents during the Sanilac County Police and Firemen's Awards banquet on Saturday evening at the Sanilac Shrine Park.
Chris Gossman and Hannah Toner of Croswell were cited for their live-saving actions following an accident that occurred behind their home on April 5, 2013. After hearing a loud crash, they saw a vehicle go into the Black River. While Hannah was calling 911 to report the incident, she stayed on the line to direct rescue efforts until EMS arrived. Gossman jumped into the water and waded to the truck, helping the driver to shore and assisting him to the top of the river bank. The victim, who had a seizure, was taken to the hospital by Croswell EMS and has made a complete recovery.
Oetiker Corporation employees Mark Liosong and Margaret Rowe also received "Citizen of the Year" honors for saving the life of fellow employee Bill Kuhl. When they realized Mr. Kuhl was unresponsive, they placed an AED on him and "shocked" him prior to EMS arrival. Once EMS arrived and provided CPR, the patient had a return of circulation. He has made a complete recovery. Their quick response and actions played a vital role in his positive outcome.
Sanilac County's "Law Enforcement Officer of the Year" is Deputy Shelly Park. She was honored for leading an investigation into a string of home invasions that culminated with the arrest and conviction of two area men and the closing of several complaints. The investigations spanned a period from December 2011 through May 2012.
Sanilac County Sheriff's Dispatcher Michelle Obee is the "Dispatcher of the Year" for her actions following an armed robbery of the Watertown Party Store on October 26, 2012. Dispatcher Obee, with only 5-month's experience on the job, maintained her composure with the caller and obtained all of the pertinent information to assist officers from 11 patrol units in the investigation. The robbers were ultimately arrested and have been prosecuted. Dispatcher Sandra Robinson received a "Meritorious Service Award" for her dispatch work in connection with the same complaint.
A "Meritorious Service Award" was also presented to Sanilac County Sheriff's Dispatcher Connie Smith for her actions following a burglary in progress, which was reported in Elmer Township on October 23, 2012. Dispatcher Smith directed area police units throughout the chase and the suspects were ultimately arrested on Gates Road.
The members of the Port Sanilac Fire Department were honored with the "Firefighter of the Year" award for their actions in the early morning hours of Sunday, January 27, 2013 when fire broke out at the Parkway Place Apartments, at 7081 Huron Street in Port Sanilac. Fire Crews immediately checked the apartments and were able to get the last 10 of 17 residents of the complex out through patio doors to safety. Evacuated residents were taken to a temporary shelter and later taken to West Park Inn in Sandusky for temporary lodging. Due to heroic actions of the Port Sanilac Fire Department that frigid morning, there were no injuries or lives lost in the major fire.
EMTP Jeremy Beatty and EMT Chad Schmidt from Sanilac EMS were named "EMT'S of the Year." They received the award for their life-saving actions at the scene of a personal injury accident on December 28, 2012, at the intersection of Marlette and Wood Roads. The driver of the truck was seriously injured after striking some trees. The patient was unable to maintain his own airway and EMTP Beatty performed a tracheotomy, allowing the man to breathe while EMT Schmidt treated the man for other life-threatening injuries. Beatty and Schmidt are credited with savings the man's life. EMT Schmidt also works for Marlette EMS, which was the lead rig at the time of the accident.
"Meritorious Service Awards" were presented to Dr. Matthew Gormley and EMT'S Michael Bales, David Phetteplace, Sean Murray and Patricia Dawson for their actions in saving the life of Dr. Gormley's son. On May 16, 2012, the little boy ran in front of an oncoming car at the family's home near Croswell. The boy was seriously injured. Dr. Gormley administered first aid and upon arrival the EMT'S applied their EMS skills as the boy was rushed to a Detroit Area children's hospital. The boy has made a complete recovery, due to the skill and dedication of these medical specialists.
Elk Township firefighter and EMT Bill Parcell also received a "Meritorious Service Award." He was nominated for his actions on July 21, 2012 by Travis Sparr who was struck in the head by a baseball and knocked unconscious. Mr. Parsell called EMS and started medical treatment, keeping his airway open and keeping the swelling down. Sparr was flight-cared to a Saginaw hospital. He is making a very slow recovery and stated that he would not be here today, if it wasn't for Parcell's quick actions.
The "Presidents Award" was given to Deckerville fireman Stu Stoutenburg for 51-years of dedicated service. Mr. Stoutenburg has been a member of the Deckerville Fire Department since 1962 and continues to respond to fire calls and other emergencies in the Deckerville area.
A special "Bronze" Award was presented posthumously in honor of Brandon Trowhill, to his wife Danielle. Brandon was a dedicated officer for the Sanilac County Sheriff's Department as well as the Deckerville Police Department for over 7-years. He passed away unexpectedly in January of this year.