FDL Fire And Rescue Annual Awards

Fond du Lac, WI: Each year, Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue awards members of the agency for their exceptional effort, commitment, and outstanding service to the department and community. This year FDL Fire/Rescue presented Firefighter of the Year, Unit Citation/Commendation Awards, an Esprit de Corps Award, and multiple Awards of Merit.   FDL Fire /Rescue appreciates these members’ bravery and courage, exceptional service, and achievement to the agency.

Firefighter of the Year:  This award was presented to a member who has best exemplified the standards of excellence and service to the community subscribed to by FDL Fire/ Rescue. This individual is a team player who supports others’ efforts to achieve the goals of the agency, supports the agency by embracing its policy and procedures, and by engaging only in constructive criticism that will lead to improvements in the service.

For his commitment and exemplary performance in carrying out his assigned duties, FDL Fire/Rescue presented Engineer Rick Gerritson (pictured) the 2016 Firefighter of the Year Award.

The Unit Citation/Commendation:  This award was presented to a group of FDL Fire/Rescue members who made up a company, which performed in an outstanding manner for service to the community. 

On Sunday June 12th 2016, during Walleye Weekend, Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue units responded to a boater in Lake Winnebago with a badly injured leg.  The crew was transported by Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s boat approximately a half mile offshore.  Upon arrival, they found an individual who had a severe arterial wound and was experiencing significant blood loss while still partially in the water.  The crew recognized the life threatening injury and immediately placed a tourniquet and corrected the blood loss.  Due to the injuries the patient had sustained combined with the blood loss, the crew knew the best destination was a trauma center and requested Flight for Life to respond to the scene.  Upon return to the boat launch, the patient was moved to the landing zone and patient care transferred to Flight for Life and subsequent transport to Theda Clark trauma center.

For their life saving efforts to this patient, FDL Fire/Rescue presented Paramedic/Firefighter Brian Westby and Sean White a Unit Citation.

The Unit Citation/Commendation:  This award was presented to a group of FDL Fire/Rescue members who made up a company, which performed in an outstanding manner for service to the community. 

On Wednesday, June 22nd 2016, FDL Fire/Rescue units responded to Hwy 41 for a rollover motor vehicle crash with multiple injuries. FDL Fire/Rescue units arrived on scene to find 6 patients including two fatalities.  All fire/rescue units worked on patient assessment, treatment, and transport.  One patient was transported to Theda Clark by Flight for Life, and two patients were transported by ground to St. Agnes Hospital. This call turned out to be an unfortunate tragedy with a family losing two of its three members.  While there was nothing the crews could do to change that, they demonstrated great cooperative efforts in managing the remainder of the scene and providing excellent patient care. 

For their excellent management and patient care on this incident, FDL Fire/Rescue presented Captain Jim Knowles, Engineers Bryan Johannes, Keith Wendt, Luke Blitzke, Dwight Fisher, Kevin Doll, Lieutenants John Hartzheim, Shawn Kneeland, Jerry Golla, Acting Lieutenant Brian Vahsholtz, Firefighter Paramedics  Greg Stilp, Nick Fahrenkrug, Jake Fisher, Jake Vogds, Ben Kooiman, Joe Goldapske, and Laura Ketelhut a Unit Citation.

Esprit de Corps Award:  This award may be presented to any member of FDL Fire/Rescue who fosters and inspires enthusiasm, devotion, and a strong regard for the honor of the Department.

For being instrumental and inspiring the members of Fond du Lac Fire Rescue to move forward many of the past and present day programs that benefited the citizens of Fond du Lac, Lieutenant Todd Shippee was the recipient of the 2016 award for “Esprit de Corps”.                

Award of Merit: This award was presented to a member(s) based on the execution of assigned duties where said duties have been carried out in an outstanding, superior manner such as to merit recognition for service to the community.

During Fire Prevention Week Captain Knowles’ crew went above and beyond assisting with live fire safety demonstrations focused on home cooking fires.  Under the direction of Captain Knowles, station one first shift personnel built our simulation fire burn cell and prepared it for the presentations with the media.  For their outstanding effort and selflessness to prepare and provide the support needed to present fire safety information, FDL Fire/Rescue presented Captain James Knowles, Lieutenant Jon Hartzheim, Engineers Bryan Johannes, Keith Wendt, Mike Spencer, Firefighter Paramedics Nick Fahrenkrug, Ben Kooiman, Nate Philipsky, and Greg Stilp.

Award of Merit:

On November 18, 2016, FDLFR Division Chief Troy Haase’s hunting trip with his son started out like any other trip until they came across a serious motor vehicle crash at Wisconsin State Highway 23 and Esterbrook Rd.  Division Chief Haase provided direction to other citizens calming those anxious to remove the injured from vehicles. After contacting 911 via phone Haase stayed with the most critically injured high school senior until the paramedics arrived.  For rendering aid to a FDL citizen in need, FDL Fire/Rescue presented Division Chief Troy Haase an Award of Merit.