Photos by Jodie McGarry
Story By Ken DeLaat
Deputy Jason Fritsma used his CPR training to bring back an unresponsive woman, allowing her to regain a pulse and breathe on her own.
When a White Cloud Library patron suffered a heart attack Deputy Tyler Selby arrived and immediately began CPR followed closely behind by Sgt C.J. Freriks who administered the AED that got the man to the hospital for heart surgery.
And when Deputies Joshua Clapp and Chuck Myers were called to the scene where a 12 year old drowning victim was unresponsive they immediately took action performing CPR and using their defibrillator to shock the young girl who ended up making a full recovery.
This Fab Five of the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office received Lifesaving Awards at the recent Newaygo County Board of Commissioners meeting.
Also honored were Sgt Dylan Wimmer as Patrol Deputy of the Year, Deputy Trevor Sherman as Corrections Deputy of the Year and Deputy Justin Visser who received a service award for his many years on the Emergency Response Team.
Sheriff Bob Mendham delivered the accolades to the honorees with co-workers, family, elected officials and members of the community on hand to capture the moment as each officer was greeted with a hearty round of applause from the crowd. The commissioners also delivered personal congratulations and gratitude for their service.
It was a day to celebrate the best of what law enforcement does. The men and women who go about their jobs never having a clue what the day (or night) might bring and yet being prepared for whatever gets tossed at them during their shift. They are the backbone of public safety in our county. The front liners who take care of situations when they get out of hand, The people who get called on to handle dangerous circumstances, resolve escalating conflicts and sometimes, sometimes…
Save a life.
About a year or so ago I went on a ride-along with Deputy Nichole Loomis on a summer Saturday. From finding the friends of a large intoxicated guy walking home down the middle of the road (to Grand Rapids, some 35 miles from where we found him) wearing just a swimsuit who assured her the stab wound he had on his arm was ‘no big deal’, breaking up a family fight at a campground, and flushing out a B&E suspect hiding in the bushes who was unlikely to be in a state of sobriety, Officer Loomis handled each situation with an impressive combination of skill and smarts.
Having always held a deep admiration for people who are really really good at what they do, she gained my utmost respect for her work that night.
And it was only one night. She and her brethren are out there every night and every day as well. They’re not perfect, they make mistakes, but, man, when they come through they really come through.
Maybe you’re chagrined about getting that speeding ticket or a little cheesed off because your complaint about the party next door didn’t get handled to your satisfaction.
But among others who have benefited from the life saving efforts of Newaygo County’s Law Enforcement folks is a young girl who will see her teenage years and hopefully many more decades on this Earth
Because of what they do.
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