Wisconsin State Patrol presents awards for heroism and commendable service
Recipients are from Strum, Ripon, Chippewa Falls, Whitewater, Madison
“Our four troopers who received awards showed tremendous compassion and dedication in attempting to save lives. They demonstrated courage and expertise in their response under stressful conditions,” said Col. J.D. Lind of the State Patrol. “Through their work with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, our two other recipients have helped the State Patrol improve its effectiveness and maintain the highest standards of law enforcement services.”
The following individuals were honored with awards:
Trooper Steven Wojcik of Strum (Lifesaving Award)—Trooper Steven Wojcik responded to a call requesting an ambulance and first responders at a house in Osseo for a male subject who was having difficulty breathing and other medical issues on Sept. 9, 2016. Trooper Wojcik was the first to arrive on the scene. The wife of the subject directed Trooper Wojcik to her husband, who was not breathing and did not have a pulse. The trooper began CPR. Other first responders arrived to assist. They were able to restore the subject’s pulse for a short time, and he began to take shallow breaths. Trooper Wojcik then assisted in loading the patient into the ambulance. While the patient was being transported in the ambulance, he stopped breathing and lost a pulse. After extensive attempts to revive the patient, he was pronounced deceased. For his professional response during a medical emergency and his valiant attempt to save a life, Trooper Wojcik was presented the Lifesaving Award.
Trooper Daniel Restrepo of Ripon (Lifesaving Award)—Trooper Daniel Restrepo was patrolling in Waushara County when he heard a dispatch report of a two-vehicle head-on collision on WIS 21 in Aurora Township on Feb. 11, 2016. Upon arriving on the scene and updating the dispatch center on the crash location, Trooper Restrepo began checking on the condition of the occupants of the two vehicles. Several people were surrounding a vehicle with an adult female passenger inside. She had minor injuries but was conscious and alert. The male occupant of the other vehicle had sustained a leg injury and was experiencing substantial blood loss. Trooper Restrepo quickly applied a tourniquet, issued to State Patrol troopers, to the victim’s leg. The blood loss slowed and eventually stopped. He checked for other injuries but found none. Medical personnel who arrived at the crash scene noted that Trooper Restrepo’s actions in effectively applying the tourniquet probably saved the victim from bleeding to death. After several days in intensive care, the man did survive. For his decisive actions based on his training, Trooper Restrepo received a Lifesaving Award.
Trooper Bill Lindeman of Chippewa Falls (Lifesaving Award)—A female subject in a rural Eau Claire County residence suddenly collapsed and stopped breathing while experiencing a cardiac attack on Nov. 18, 2015. Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Riewestahl was the first responder to arrive at the scene and found the victim had no pulse. He applied an automated external defibrillator (AED) while the victim’s daughter began chest compressions. Trooper Bill Lindeman then arrived on the scene and took over delivering chest compressions. The deputy and trooper continued to administer AED shocks and chest compressions until medical personnel arrived. The victim’s pulse and breathing were restored, and she was transported to a hospital. For his effective actions and expertise in assisting with a medical emergency, Trooper Lindeman received a Lifesaving Award.
Trooper Aaron Gross of Whitewater (Lifesaving Award)—Trooper Aaron Gross was on patrol on April 5, 2016, when he heard a report from the Rock County Communications Center that a male subject who was not breathing and had no pulse was inside a room at an Edgerton motel. Trooper Gross was driving by the motel at the time and responded immediately. The victim’s daughter was outside the room, and she said that her father might be deceased. Her mother was inside the room. Trooper Gross entered the room and found the subject slumped against a nightstand. The trooper and the subject’s daughter lowered him to the floor where the trooper applied chest compressions until emergency medical personnel arrived. Trooper Gross assisted in loading the patient into an ambulance. The patient’s pulse was restored. However, life support measures at the hospital were eventually removed and the patient died. For his diligent and compassionate response under stressful conditions, Trooper Gross received a Lifesaving Award.
Jennifer Schmidt of Madison (Commendable Service Award)—As a member of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Jennifer Schmidt has served as the lead developer for the Badger Traffic and Criminal (TraCS) software initiative since 2005. She was indispensable in the creation of all TraCS digital forms, which are crucial for the effectiveness of the State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies. TraCS increases the efficiency of law enforcement officers and provides accurate data collection and reporting for devising enforcement strategies. For her efforts that have improved traffic and public safety in Wisconsin, she received a Commendable Service Award.
Susan Fuszard of Madison (Commendable Service Award)—While serving with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Employee Assistance Program from 2005 until recently, Susan Fuszard provided services that enhanced the physical and emotional well-being of State Patrol and other WisDOT employees. She provided stress management training and resources that helped meet the professional and personal challenges faced by law enforcement officers. She had a critical role in supporting all members of the State Patrol after the line-of-duty death of Trooper Trevor Casper. She also helped establish a State Patrol chaplaincy, a law enforcement female youth development program, and support for community animal shelters. For her devoted service to members of the State Patrol, she received a Commendable Service Award.