Members of the Wisconsin State Patrol receive awards for courageous actions and exceptional service
September 19, 2012
Awardees are from Janesville, Belleville, Baldwin, Green Bay, Suamico, Fond du Lac, Howards Grove, Foxboro, Tomahawk, Necedah, Cedarburg, Schofield, Strum, Onalaska, Eau Claire, Knapp and Endeavor
Seventeen members of the Wisconsin State Patrol received special awards for saving lives and other exemplary service at a ceremony on Wednesday, September 19, at the State Capitol in Madison.
State Patrol Superintendent Stephen Fitzgerald said, "All members of the State Patrol make our highways and communities safer through their professional and tireless dedication to traffic and public safety. But the members of the State Patrol who received special awards have demonstrated exceptional expertise and courage under extremely stressful conditions. They were nominated for their awards by their fellow members of the State Patrol for actions that go above and beyond their normal duties."
The following members of the State Patrol were honored with special awards:
Trooper Damion A. Kosmosky of Baldwin (Meritorious Service Award)—Trooper Damion Kosmosky was shopping with his family in a store in Minnesota on October 27, 2011, when he learned that a woman had raced out of the store with a stolen television and had wielded a knife at a security officer as she escaped. Trooper Kosmosky sprinted after the woman who was running into traffic. Crossing a busy four-lane road while in pursuit, he was able to subdue the woman and get her under control after a struggle until police arrived. For his willingness to risk his own personal safety as an off-duty law enforcement officer in an effective effort to stop a crime, Trooper Kosmosky was presented the Meritorious Service Award.
Sergeant John P. Jones of Green Bay (Lifesaving Award)—Sergeant John Jones responded to a report of an intoxicated motorist who fled on foot after a traffic stop and jumped into a creek on January 1, 2012. Sergeant Jones began an exhaustive search that narrowed the subject’s possible locations. He found the subject lying face-down in a snow-covered ditch. The subject was suffering from hypothermia and was possibly injured. Sergeant Jones assisted the subject into his cruiser and transported him to a hospital. If not for the determined and effective actions by Sergeant Jones, the subject may have succumbed to hypothermia because of the cold weather and his intoxicated condition. For his effort to locate and rescue the subject, who was in danger of freezing to death, Sergeant Jones received a Lifesaving Award.
Trooper Kate J. Sampson of Knapp (Lifesaving Award)—Trooper Kate Sampson responded to a report of a man possibly suffering a heart attack on November 5, 2011. Upon arriving, she saw a bystander performing cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a man. Trooper Sampson checked the victim’s vital signs. After finding no pulse or breathing, she continued CPR with assistance from the bystander. Trooper Sampson helped move the victim from a vehicle to the ground and continued chest compressions. A deputy on the scene then used an automated external defibrillator (AED) to shock the victim three times. While continuing CPR, Trooper Sampson detected a faint pulse, and the victim took several breaths on his own. His condition was stabilized when an ambulance crew arrived and took over treatment. For her quick and decisive actions that were instrumental in saving a man’s life, Trooper Sampson received a Lifesaving Award.
Trooper Donald P. Madgzas of Foxboro (Lifesaving Award)—Trooper Donald Madgzas saw a child who showed signs of choking in a restaurant on September 6, 2011. He took immediate action and delivered back blows that dislodged the material from the child’s throat. Trooper Madgzas then returned the child to his mother, who was extremely grateful for the trooper’s actions. For his professional and effective response to a stressful incident, Trooper Madgzas received a Lifesaving Award.
Trooper Bryan E. Wrycha of Tomahawk (Lifesaving Award)—Trooper Bryan Wrycha responded to a residence where a female collapsed on February 18, 2012. When he entered the residence, Trooper Wrycha saw two people performing CPR on a female victim. He immediately offered to relieve one of the individuals performing CPR and began administering chest compressions while the other continued respirations. When an ambulance arrived, Trooper Wrycha asked for suction to clear the victim’s throat. He eventually took over respirations in addition to chest compressions. With Trooper Wrycha’s help, the victim was placed in an ambulance. The victim, who was diabetic, suffered cardiac arrest. She was transported to a medical facility where she died later that day from a possible stroke. For demonstrating the high professional standards of a well-trained law enforcement officer, Trooper Wrycha received a Lifesaving Award.
Trooper Ryan J. Rattunde of Necedah (Lifesaving Award)—Trooper Ryan Rattunde arrived at a chaotic crash scene where a vehicle had been hit by a train on January 13, 2012. He immediately located a single unresponsive occupant in the vehicle. Trooper Rattunde started CPR on the victim. When an ambulance arrived, the emergency medical technician inserted a tube that assisted the victim’s breathing. The victim was transported to a hospital, where she was stabilized before being transported to Madison by med-flight. Unfortunately, the victim died while en route by helicopter. For his efforts in a complex medical emergency, Trooper Rattunde received a Lifesaving Award.
Trooper Robert E. Simpson of Cedarburg (Lifesaving Award)—While off-duty, Trooper Robert Simpson was camping with his family when a man at a nearby campsite suffered a heart attack on August 14, 2011. Trooper Simpson responded quickly and performed chest compressions on the victim for more than 30 minutes until an ambulance arrived. For his quick and effective actions in response to a medical emergency, Trooper Simpson received a Lifesaving Award.
Police Communications Operator James H. Smith of Schofield (Lifesaving Award)—P olice Communications Operator (PCO) James Smith was off-duty when a traffic crash occurred near his home on November 22, 2011. A pick-up truck had hit a utility pole with such force that the pole broke, causing power lines to fall near the truck. PCO Smith approached the vehicle and saw an unconscious man in the driver’s seat who was having trouble breathing. PCO Smith kept the victim’s airway open until an ambulance arrived. Doctors confirmed that the victim had lost consciousness due to low blood pressure. Without PCO Smith’s immediate assistance, the victim may have suffocated to death or suffered brain injuries from lack of oxygen. For his compassionate efforts, PCO Smith received a Lifesaving Award.
Trooper Nathan D. Wright of Howards Grove (Lifesaving Award)—Trooper Nathan Wright was the first responder at a scene where an unresponsive female was inside a vehicle on September 1, 2011. All the doors were locked and the transmission was in drive. Recognizing the seriousness of the situation, Trooper Wright broke a window to enter the vehicle, and with the assistance of a sheriff’s deputy, removed the victim. Trooper Wright ascertained that the victim did not have a pulse and was not breathing. He began CPR and then applied two shocks with an AED. He continued CPR chest compressions until an ambulance arrived and transported the patient to a hospital. Sadly, the victim, who had suffered a heart attack, died a week later. For his quick-thinking and determined response, Trooper Wright received a Lifesaving Award.
Trooper Ioan Alexandru Trofin of Suamico (Lifesaving Award)—Trooper Ioan Trofin was off-duty when he saw a distressed male subject jump over a fence between a frontage road and a highway on April 12, 2012. As the subject attempted to walk directly into traffic, Trooper Trofin rushed to the subject and pulled him into a roadside ditch. Trooper Trofin assured the subject that he was trying to help. However, as Trooper Trofin was calling for assistance, the subject pulled away and again tried to crawl into traffic. Trooper Trofin held his arm and pulled him back into the ditch. Two sheriff’s deputies then arrived and transported the subject to a medical facility for an evaluation. For his actions that prevented a tragedy, Trooper Trofin received a Lifesaving Award.
Sergeant Jeffrey A. Nelson of Fond du Lac (Lifesaving Award)—Sergeant Jeffrey Nelson encountered a minivan traveling the wrong way on US 41 on April 10, 2012. When he began to pursue, the operator of the minivan continued to drive erratically, and other motorists had to take evasive actions to avoid a crash. The minivan driver exited the highway the wrong way and traveled up a ramp toward oncoming traffic. Sergeant Nelson was able to stop the van at the top of the ramp. As he was communicating with the Fond du Lac Post about the incident, he saw the subject begin running along a concrete barrier toward an overpass bridge. Sergeant Nelson ran and caught her before she attempted to jump from the bridge onto the highway below. The driver said she wanted to kill herself. He safely restrained her. After seeking assistance from a bystander, Sergeant Nelson requested an ambulance for the woman. For putting the welfare of the distraught subject ahead of his own personal safety, Sergeant Nelson received a Lifesaving Award.
Trooper Steven M. Wojcik of Strum (Lifesaving Award)—Trooper Steven Wojcik responded to an emergency medical services’ report of an individual who had no pulse and was not breathing on July 20, 2012. Trooper Wojcik began CPR while another local officer administered three AED shocks to the victim. CPR was still needed, so Trooper Wojcik and the other officer continued their efforts until relieved by EMS responders. The subject did regain a pulse before being transported to a hospital but died later. For his prompt and professional response to a medical emergency, Trooper Wojcik received a Lifesaving Award.
Trooper Brad Bray of Onalaska (Lifesaving Award)—Trooper Brad Bray responded to an emergency call reporting that a woman was having a diabetic reaction while driving on the interstate on July 12, 2012. Her location was unknown, so several troopers began searching for her vehicle. Trooper Bray located the vehicle in a median. The woman was unresponsive, and the vehicle doors were locked. After gaining entry into the vehicle, Trooper Bray found the woman did not have a pulse. He administered a tube of glucose and persisted in getting her to consume some of it. As she slipped in and out of consciousness, Trooper Bray assisted the woman until EMS arrived. Her condition stabilized at the hospital. For his decisive and effective actions, Trooper Bray received a Lifesaving Award.
Trooper Clint T. Rowley of Janesville (Lifesaving Award)—In a restaurant, Trooper Clint Rowley encountered an employee in need of medical assistance on May 7, 2012. Waving her arms and unable to speak, the employee was clearly in distress. Trooper Rowley jumped over the counter and asked if she was choking. When she nodded her head to confirm she was, Trooper Rowley immediately performed the Heimlich maneuver, which successfully dislodged a piece of hard candy from her throat. Within a short time, she recovered and returned to work. For his quick recognition of a medical emergency and prompt assistance, Trooper Rowley received the Lifesaving Award.
Inspector Teresa A. Burchard of Belleville (Lifesaving Award)—Inspector Teresa Burchard responded to an emergency call for a non-breathing victim with no pulse on February 12, 2012. Upon her arrival, EMS responders had applied AED pads and were monitoring the patient. Inspector Burchard inserted an oral airway to help restore the patient’s respiration. Within a few minutes, Inspector Burchard relieved a paramedic and took over CPR chest compressions. After three AED shocks were administered, the patient regained a pulse and was conscious. Inspector Burchard assisted with placing the patient in an ambulance. For her professional assistance with a serious medical emergency, Inspector Burchard received the Lifesaving Award.
Communications Technician Supervisor James R. Krause of Endeavor (Lifesaving Award)—Jim Krause was at a campground when he saw an unsupervised toddler fall from a pier into a deep lake on June 29, 2012. He immediately jumped into the lake and rescued the toddler. For his alert actions that prevented a drowning by a small child, Mr. Krause received a Lifesaving Award.
Police Communications Operator Jean L. Bengtson of Eau Claire (Commendable Service Award)—Police Communications Operator (PCO) Jean L. Bengtson has served with State Patrol for more than 20 years. Her dedication is exemplified as a trainer for newly hired PCOs. In addition, she has helped resolve law enforcement investigations. For example, she was instrumental in the apprehension in 2011 of an individual responsible for numerous thefts of gasoline from service stations in Chippewa and Eau Claire counties. Her insights and experience provided critical information used by law enforcement officers to locate and arrest the individual. For her continued resourcefulness, knowledge and commitment, PCO Jean Bengtson received the Commendable Service Award.
Note: Digital photos of award recipients who attended the ceremony will be available. For photos, please e-mail Steve Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, contact:
State Patrol Lt. Paul Wolfe, Wisconsin Department of Transportation
(608) 267-4590, email@example.com