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Kids thank firefighters and EMTs for saving their mom

Kids thank firefighters and  EMTs for saving their mom Kids thank firefighters and  EMTs for saving their mom

The children of a Dorchester woman involved in a serious accident in November dropped by the local fire district’s Christmas party last week to say thank you for saving their mom’s life.

John Austin, battalion chief of Central Fire station 2 in Abbotsford, told the district board at its Dec. 19 meeting that Alecia Castillo’s three kids came to the fire hall to thank firefighters and EMTs in person.

The accident occurred during the opening weekend of deer hunting season, Nov. 28-29, at the intersection of STH 13 and CTH A in Dorchester. Austin said the woman was making a left-hand turn when she got rear-ended and pushed into the path of a semi.

“The tractor missed her but the trailer did not, and it drove right up over the top of her vehicle,” Austin said.

The victim was unable to get out of the vehicle on her own, so firefighters had to extricate her before she was airlifted to a hospital. Austin said she was treated and released that night, but she will need surgery to correct eye socket damage that is causing double vision.

All of the EMTs and firefighters on scene thought it was going to be a fatal accident based on the condition of the victim’s vehicle, Austin said.

Shortly before the accident had occurred, the woman had dropped off her three kids, the youngest of which is in kindergarten, EMT Carol Staab said.

Austin said the woman contacted him and it was arranged for her and her kids to come to the fire hall in Abbotsford and say “thank you” to firefighters and EMTs in person. He said the woman had an emotional hug with Daniella Schauer, one of the EMTs on scene, and her kids presented a hand-made thank-you card with a heart on it.

“Thank you for saving my mom’s live. I appreciate it a lot. It means a lot to me,” the card says.

In his 23 years a firefighter, Austin aid this is only the second time that something like this has happened.

“I just can’t tell you how good that makes our district look and our members feel when somebody comes here and does that,” he said.

Austin said Dorchester’s battalion chief, Leon Newswanger, and everyone else who responded to the accident that night deserves “kudos” for how they handled the traumatic event.

“Everybody just did a phenomenal job that night,” he said. “Everything came together.”

Other business

_ The board approved a motion to transfer $150,000 from the district’s checking into its savings account in order to earn more interest. That will leave the checking account with about $146,000 left in until the seven municipalities make their first quarterly payments for 2020 in January. Chairman Larry Oehmichen said that should be more than enough to meet expenses. The transfer will boost the savings account balance to $556,446.

_ Abbotsford representative Roger Weideman told the rest of the board that his city council is willing to entertain competing offers for insuring the city’s public safety building, as long as the city remains the holder of the policy.

Oehmichen said the city and fire district should be able to save about $1,000 per year by having the building insured by the MacGillis Insurance Agency of Verdonia, which was recently awarded a $14,450 contract for providing the rest of the district’s insurance.

The issue will be revisited at a future meeting once the insurance agent can review the building’s blueprints.

_ The board had a brief discussion about a strategic planning process that was started last year but never completed. Mayville representative Dennis Engel said a strategic plan could be used to put the district’s future capital purchases in chronological order so board members know much money will be needed.

Oehmichen suggested inviting the public to a couple meetings to review and prioritize a list of equipment and vehicle needs. Colby representative Nancy O’Brien said she would speak to Colby schools superintendent Steve Kolden, who has previously offered assistance.

_ The board discussed resubmitting a grant application to FEMA after the district was previously passed up for grant to pay for new air packs and bottles. District members are currently looking into options for purchasing a new fire pumper truck, so the grant application may be rewritten to provide funding for that.

The district would pay $1,500 to resubmit the application for that chance at up to $300,000 in grant money. The issue was tabled until more information could be found out about the new pumper truck.

_ In response to question from district chief Joe Mueller, the board confirmed that $1 per hour raises were already approved the EMT duty crew in 2020 as part of the adopted budget.

_ The district responded to 62 ambulance calls and five fire calls over the past month, according to the chief’s report.