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Honored for response

November 19, 2012
Steve Schulwitz - News Staff Writer , The Alpena News

ALPENA - The Alpena Municipal Council and Alpena Fire Chief Bill Forbush recognized the heroic effort and cooperative assistance of city, county and Alpena Township rescue personnel during Monday's meeting and also honored one of his department's captains for graduating from command school.

On Oct. 23, a resident of Long Lake, a 76-year-old man became trapped between his truck and his dock while trying to remove it, and the quick response and action by the emergency personnel helped to free the man, begin treatment which included a tracheotomy.

The ambulance crews delivered the man to Alpena Regional Medical Center and after more care, the same crew transported the man to the St. Mary's Hospital in Saginaw.

Article Photos

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz
Alpena Fire Chief Bill Forbush recognized the effort local rescue workers made in trying to save a 76-year-old man who had an accident while removing his dock out of Long Lake in October. From left to right are fFirefighter/paramedics Mike Torok and Dan Hibbner, Alpena Township Supervisor Marie Twite, Forbush, Mayor Matt Waligora, Alpena County Commissioner Lyle VanWormer and Sheriff Steve Kieliszewski.

Forbush said the teamwork and quick decision-making by all involved gave the man a chance to survive his serious wounds, but after three weeks in the downstate hospital the man died. Forbush said if not for the work and knowledge of the local rescue departments, the man would never would have made it to ARMC. He issued merit citations to firefighter/paramedics Mike Torok and Dan Hibner, as well as to the Alpena Township Fire Department, which was received by Township Supervisor Marie Twite, and to the Alpena County Sheriff Department and Sheriff Steve Kieliszewski. Mayor Matt Waligora said having well trained first responders and dedicated leaders at the departments should make citizens sleep better at night.

"I think these guys mean just about everything to the people in the city because when it is you who's heart stops or you who gets in an accident they are going to be the ones to come and help you," Waligora said. "Any time we can be representatives from the sheriff's department, Alpena Township and the city, and we're all recognized for the same thing at the same time, that shows what cooperation can do."

Councilman Shawn Sexton said all of the departments honored on Monday are known for the good job they do and that everyone has each other's backs when tough times strike is commendable.

"I don't think the level of service is a surprise. We have some of the best departments and personnel, period," Sexton said. "What we saw tonight was a high level of cooperation between the sheriff's department, city fire, township fire all pulling resources together to help the community and I think that is an exciting component of all of this."

Forbush also presented Alpena Fire Capt. Mike Manchester his degree from the Eastern Michigan University School of Fire Staff Training and Command.

In other business:

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via e-mail at or by phone at 358-5689.



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