Each year, at the annual Fire Department Open House, the Sterling Heights Fire Department recognizes citizens, Fire Department employees and other city employees who, in the last year, have done exceptional things, above and beyond what they do each day.
The Sterling Heights Fire Department is able to save many lives each year, make a huge difference in the lives of those who are sick or injured as well as protecting a significant amount of property. The department operates as a team and recognizes the importance that the extension of the team, including residents, Police Officers and Dispatchers, has on the outcome of service. There is no way everyone can be recognized and the following awardees are just a few of those who have helped deliver exceptional service.
The Award Ceremony will take place at 12:00 p.m. during the Open House on Sunday, October 2, 2016. The Open House will take place at Fire Station #4 on 15 Mile Road, west of Schoenherr, across from Sterling Heights High School, and runs from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Parking is available at the high school.
Exceptional Civilian Service Awards:Kevin Ferguson of Troy, Michigan and Cindy Bayer of Sterling Heights, Michigan will each receive the Exceptional Civilian Service Award for the actions they took at the Sterling Heights Senior Center when a person at that facility collapsed into cardiac arrest. Together, they began CPR and deployed a nearby AED, providing one electric shock. They continued CPR until an SHPD Officer and the Fire Department arrived. The efforts of these individuals and the first responders allowed the person to survive for a few more months, unfortunately before succumbing to the illness.
Leish Limkey of Clay Township, Michigan will also receive the Exceptional Civilian Service Award for the actions he took while patronizing Roger’s Roost and witnessing another customer collapse into cardiac arrest. Mr. Limkey immediately began CPR and continued until the Fire Department arrived. Despite the best efforts of Mr. Limkey and the first responders, this individual did not survive. However, these actions afforded the person the best possible chance of surviving the incident.
Fire Department Commendation Awards:Police Officer Dale Schmaltz will receive the Fire Department Commendation Award for the actions he took when he arrived on the scene of a serious car accident on Mound Road, near 15 Mile Road. He encountered a 33 year-old man who was in cardiac arrest and immediately began CPR until the Fire Department arrived. His actions helped to save this person’s life and make a full recovery. The Fire Department responders are receiving a Meritorious Unit Citation as well for this incident.
Police Officer Ken Bresinski will receive the Fire Department Commendation Award for the actions he took when he arrived on the scene of a medical incident and took over CPR until the Fire Department arrived and continued treatment of the patient in cardiac arrest. The Fire Department responders are receiving a Meritorious Unit Citation as well for this incident. This teamwork was the reason for the survival of the patient.
Police Sergeant Mario Bastianelli and Officer Darren Steele will receive the Fire Department Commendation Award for the action they took when they arrived on the scene of a medical emergency at the Sterling Heights Senior Center, taking over CPR from two bystanders recognized earlier. The Fire Department responders are receiving a Meritorious Unit Citation as well for this incident.
Fire Chief’s Award:Firefighter Dan Roemer will receive the Fire Chief’s Award for the actions he took, while off-duty in the City of Roseville. Firefighter Roemer came upon a serious injury accident and found an elderly woman trapped in her vehicle, not breathing. Firefighter Roemer gained access to the car from the passenger side, but was unable to remove the victim from the car due to her being pinned in by the collision. Firefighter Roemer began CPR on the victim in the position he found her, which was no easy task. Once the Roseville Fire Department arrived, Firefighter Roemer continued treatment from his position, until the victim could be removed from the car using the Jaws of Life. The Roseville Fire Department communicated with the Sterling Heights Fire Department to ensure that Firefighter Roemer’s help was properly recognized.
Meritorious Unit Citations:On December 22, 2015, the Sterling Heights Police and Fire Departments were dispatched to a serious injury accident on Mound Road at 15 Mile Road. Upon arrival, responders found that a semi-truck had rear ended a van at a high rate of speed. There were four injured people in the van, one whom was in cardiac arrest from the trauma received. Police Officer Dale Schmaltz began CPR and notified the Fire Department of the situation. Upon arrival of the Fire Department Crews, they went to work treating all of the injured and took over efforts to revive the person in cardiac arrest. This team effort resulted in the life of the most seriously injured person being saved. He has made a full recovery and will become the recipient of the 4th Sterling Heights Fire Department Survivor Coin. For their actions on this incident, the following personnel will be awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation:Battalion Chief Mark Docherty Lieutenant Jeffery Vergauwen Lieutenant Darryl Curtis Fire Engine Operator Ryan Sears Firefighter Stephen Stover Firefighter Matthew Schodowski Firefighter Andrew Pham
On January 4, 2016, a vehicle accident at the corner of Mound Road and 14 Mile Road caused a semi-truck to leave the roadway and crash into a building. Luckily, the driver of the semi-truck was able to move to his right and duck down prior to impact. The vehicle traveled a good distance into the building and the impact pinned the driver inside the vehicle all while there was an unstable building above him. This rescue was the most complicated one that the Sterling Heights Fire Department has responded to in some time. It involved the use of just about every tool carried on Rescue 1 to cut the victim from the vehicle, while the other responders stabilized the building and treated other minor injuries. Luckily, no one was seriously injured. For their actions on this incident, the following personnel will be awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation:Assistant Chief Rob Duke Battalion Chief Ed Miller Training Chief Matt Ratliff Captain James Boylan EMS Captain Kevin St. Peter Training Captain Shawn Allen Lieutenant Michael Solomon Lieutenant Shawn Misener Lieutenant Timothy Ferguson Lieutenant Chris Slezak Sergeant Daniel Zehnder Sergeant Bryan Richter Sergeant Tracy Davis Sergeant David Cueny Fire Engine Operator Brian Kensicki Fire Engine Operator Ryan Glick Firefighter Bradly Bachor Firefighter Craig Ballard Firefighter Jonathan Ponte Firefighter Sean Milliken Firefighter Adam GainerOn April 23, 2016, Sterling Heights Police and Fire Departments responded to a medical emergency for a person in cardiac arrest. Upon arrival by Sterling Heights Police, Officer Kenneth Bresinski began CPR and alerted the Fire Department of the situation. The Fire Department took over care upon their arrival and continued treatment. The actions of these responders saved the life of this victim. For their actions on this incident, the following personnel will be awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation:Lieutenant Shawn Misener Lieutenant Darryl Curtis Sergeant David Cueny Fire Engine Operator Brian Kensicki Firefighter Thomas Nowicki Firefighter Jonathan Ponte
Medal of ValorOn February 22, 2016, Engine Company 1 was responding to a medical emergency. As Engine 1 was traveling north on Mound, in an emergency capacity, the Fire Engine Operator reported that he did not feel well. He quickly lost consciousness and the vehicle continued to gain speed with no one in control. Quickly recognizing the emergent situation and the danger present to people on the roadway and the crew of Engine 1, Captain David Brantley wasted no time in removing his seat belt and climbing over the engine compartment of the vehicle to get to the driver’s position. He managed to gain control of the vehicle and bring it to a stop on the side of the road. Once stopped, Captain Brantley ensured the proper treatment of his Fire Engine Operator and assigned a different crew to the original incident. These brave actions protected the lives of people traveling on Mound Road and the Firefighters on Engine 1, and for these actions, Captain David Brantley will be awarded the Medal of Valor.
Firefighter of the Year
The 2016 Sterling Heights Firefighter of the Year is awarded to Lieutenant Vincent Schwartz. There are many reasons for this honor being given to Lieutenant Schwartz, namely his continued efforts in providing top-notch training to our crews, which in turn allows them to provide the best service possible to our residents. Lieutenant Schwartz also developed and helped implement the Sterling Heights Survivor Coin Program where the survivors of cardiac arrest get to meet those responders who saved their life and be presented with a Survivor Coin as a token of the bond created by the situation.
For more information, contact the Fire Department Administration office at (586) 446-2950.