PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, April 23, 2014 – Owens Community College’s Alumni Association has chosen seven area residents to receive the 11th annual Outstanding Service Awards for their tremendous contributions to Northwest Ohio’s surrounding communities.
Award recipients are Sutton A. Flick, James Dickman, Stephen Machcinski, Mark Klempner, George Simko, Michael Fuelling, and Paul Heineman.
“Owens Community College’s Alumni Association is proud to once again recognize the selfless acts of Northwest Ohio’s safety forces that so often go unnoticed,” said Matt A. Feasel, president, Owens Alumni Association. “The Outstanding Service Awards were created to honor their efforts and thank them for their continued service to our region, state and country.We are extremely honored to be recognizing such an outstanding group of individuals this year.”
The awards are presented within the categories of Outstanding Police, Firefighter, Emergency Medical Technician and Service to Community. Selection criterion is based upon a nomination process for candidates demonstrating exceptional service related to dedication, ingenuity, bravery, special skills and/or community service over a sustained period of time. The awards are not limited to a single recipient and can be a group honor where teamwork was a key element.
The recipient of the Outstanding Police Award is Sutton Flick of Findlay (Officer, Carey Police Department). Flick was nominated by Daniel Walter, chief of police, Carey Police Department for his professional bravery during his response to an “active shooter” situation.
On the evening of November 1, 2013, Officer Sutton Flick was on routine patrol in the Village of Carey when the Wyandot County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a shooting at the Carey Conservation Club where several victims had been shot in the Club House. The radio call went out for all available officers to respond to the Conservation Club for an “Active Shooter.”
Officer Flick was the first officer to arrive on scene. Upon arrival, several witnesses informed Officer Flick that at least two victims were dead and that the male suspect was barricaded inside the Club House. Officer Flick instinctively headed toward the threat, only to hear witnesses from inside the Club House yelling, “He is coming out!” There was no time to wait for his backup officers.
Officer Flick positioned himself to cover two exit doors with his weapon drawn. The suspect cautiously exited the Club House, still brandishing a pistol. Officer Flick confronted the suspect by ordering him to drop the weapon. The suspect hesitated then obeyed the commands by tossing his pistol to the ground. Officer Flick ordered the suspect to the ground and secured him with handcuffs. Thankfully, there were no other shooters and this entire apprehension occurred prior to the next officer arriving on scene.
James Dickman of Perrysburg (Posthumous Award) (Firefighter/EMT, Toledo Fire & Rescue Department), Stephen Machcinski of Toledo (Posthumous Award) (Firefighter/EMT, Toledo Fire & Rescue Department), Mark Klempner of Toledo (Firefighter/EMT, Toledo Fire & Rescue Department) and George Simko of Toledo (Lieutenant, Toledo Fire & Rescue Department) are named the Outstanding Firefighter Award recipients. Captain Michael Benadum, Toledo Fire & Rescue Department nominated them for their outstanding efforts and bravery during a two-story building fire.
On January 26, 2014, Toledo Fire & Rescue Department Engine 3, including Dickman, Klempner, Machcinski, Simko and other crews, were dispatched to an apartment fire with occupants reportedly still inside.
On arrival, crews found a two-story building with a working fire. After attempting to make entry through a door on the first floor that was found not to lead anywhere, the crew of Engine 3 used a ladder to enter through a second floor window. Firefighter Dickman climbed the ladder, broke out the window and entered with the hose line. Firefighter Machcinski and Lieutenant Simko quickly followed him. Firefighter Klempner was pump operator for the engine supplying water to the hose line.
The crew encountered heavy smoke conditions as they advanced, looking both for trapped occupants and the fire. Shortly after entry, conditions suddenly and rapidly changed. Extreme heat drove the crew to lay flat on the floor as fire rolled over their heads. Lieutenant Simko ordered Firefighter Dickman to put water on the fire, which he did. Moments later, conditions got even hotter. Lieutenant Simko ordered the crew to get out as conditions continued to deteriorate. Lieutenant Simko was forced to dive out a second floor door onto an outside deck-like area in order to survive. Lieutenant Simko immediately noticed Firefighters Dickman and Machcinski had not exited behind him and transmitted a mayday. After being rescued by the Rapid Intervention Team, Firefighters Dickman and Machcinski died as a result of their injuries.
Michael Fuelling of Toledo (Firefighter/EMT, Toledo Fire & Rescue Department) is the recipient of the Outstanding Emergency Medical Technician Award. Jamie Young, Lieutenant, Toledo Fire &Rescue Department nominated Fuelling for his life-saving efforts during a cardiac arrest on a busy Interstate.
On July 14, 2013, Toledo Fire & Rescue Department Engine 17 responded to a report of a person in cardiac arrest on the I-75 South overpass near Exit 204. Off-duty Fuelling witnessed the accident and stopped to help. He found the patient breathless and pulseless. After performing CPR for approximately two minutes, the patient raised his arm and started to breathe on his own. By the time additional assistance arrived on scene, the patient was talking and had good vital signs.
With only his truck as protection on the expressway, Fuelling put himself at great risk while performing CPR until the police and emergency personnel arrived to block traffic. Without his decisive and successful actions, the patient would have had little chance of survival. Fuelling’s courageousness and professionalism was exemplary and heroic.
Paul Heineman of Woodville, (retired Fire Chief, Woodville Township Fire Department) is named the Outstanding Service to Community Award recipient. Chief William Andrews, Woodville Township Fire Department nominated Heineman for his leadership and dedication.
For the past 22 years, Heineman has been fire chief of the Woodville Township Fire Department, dedicating himself to not only making the Woodville Township Fire Department a better fire department, but also to improving communications between the Sheriff’s Office and the individual fire departments within the county.
At 82 years young, Heineman only stepped down because he was elected township trustee.
Over the years, Heineman has fought for levies that allowed the Woodville Township Fire Department to afford the equipment and trucks that have made the department one of the best around, according to those who work there.
Heineman’s leadership has been outstanding over the past 22 years, according to his coworkers, who say he deserves to be recognized for his leadership and dedication, not only to the Woodville Township Fire Department, but to fire service as a whole.