Kyle Sarber Awarded 'Firefighter of the Year' – See Pics of All Peninsula Fire Department Awards

2
Old Mission Gazette

At the Peninsula Township Board meeting this week, Fire Chief Fred Gilstorff presented several firefighter awards to Peninsula Fire Department personnel for their hard work and dedication to both the fire department and the Old Mission Peninsula community.

“2019 was an extremely challenging year for the fire department,” Gilstorff noted. “We worked extremely hard, and every one of these folks you see in the back of the room gave time and time again to help the department move forward.”

Help Support Old Mission Gazette - Click Here

He added, “They work well together as a team, and they’re constantly improving as we bring new members in and people take them under their wings. We all have one goal in mind, and that’s to provide the highest level of service to the residents of Peninsula Township. These are some of the most dedicated and professional people that I’ve been around, and I’ve been doing this for over 30 years. I’m very proud of each and every one of them.”

Kyle Sarber Receives Firefighter of the Year Award

The recipient of the 2019 “Firefighter of the Year” award is Kyle Sarber, EMT and Firefighter with the Peninsula Fire Department who also recently completely paramedic training.

Gilstorff said Sarber is his “go-to guy” and helped greatly with the department going to ALS (Advanced Life Support). He also installed numerous AEDs (Automated External Defibrillator) throughout the township, including one in the Peninsula Township Hall.

“He goes above and beyond every day he comes into work,” said Gilstorff. “He’s top-notch, and his passion and desire for this department is great. I’d take 25 of him. He’s that good.”

EMT and Firefighter Kyle Sarber receives the Firefighter of the Year Award for his service to the Peninsula Fire Department; also pictured, Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jane Boursaw Photo
Kyle Sarber receives the Firefighter of the Year Award for his service to the Peninsula Fire Department; also pictured, Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jane Boursaw Photo
Jan. 14, 2020: Firefighter of the Year Award Recipient Kyle Sarber with the Peninsula Fire Department | Jane Boursaw Photo
Jan. 14, 2020: Firefighter of the Year Award Recipient Kyle Sarber with the Peninsula Fire Department | Jane Boursaw Photo

Other Peninsula Fire Department award recipients include:

Ethan Passalacqua, Paramedic/Firefighter. “I know that any time I need something done, he’s going to step up and do it properly,” said Gilstorff. He added that the project of servicing and gathering information for the fire hydrants on the township’s south end was given to Ethan. “The ISO inspector had never seen anything so detailed,” said Gilstorff.

Ethan Passalacqua receives an award for his service with the Peninsula Fire Department, along with a handshake from Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jason Gillman Photo
Ethan Passalacqua receives an award for his service with the Peninsula Fire Department, along with a handshake from Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jason Gillman Photo

Mike VanderMey, MFR/Firefighter. “This individual can’t stop working on the fire trucks’ lights, sirens and radios,” said Gilstorff. “He saved us a ton of money by adding expertise. We bought four vehicles this year, and he installed the radios on three of them.”

Mike VanderMey receives an award for his service with the Peninsula Fire Department, along with a handshake from Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jane Boursaw Photo
Mike VanderMey receives an award for his service with the Peninsula Fire Department, along with a handshake from Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jane Boursaw Photo

Cory Reamer, EMT/Firefighter. Noting that Reamer is “the department handyman,” Gilstorff said, “Any time you call him and need something done or fixed at the station, he’s there in a heartbeat.” He added that Reamer did the majority of the renovations at Station 2, and he’s also the longest-running member of the fire department.

Cory Reamer receives an award for his service with the Peninsula Fire Department, along with a handshake from Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jane Boursaw Photo
Cory Reamer receives an award for his service with the Peninsula Fire Department, along with a handshake from Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold, as Fire Chief Fred Gilstorff looks on | Jane Boursaw Photo

Brent Strom, Lieutenant, EMT/Firefighter. The department’s training officer, Strom is in charge of organizing and scheduling training for all members of the Peninsula Fire Department, a monumental task considering many fire personnel work other jobs. “This guy puts his heart and soul into it, and he continues to impress me every day,” said Gilstorff.”

Brent Strom receives an award for his service with the Peninsula Fire Department, along with a handshake from Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jane Boursaw Photo
Lt. Brent Strom receives an award for his service with the Peninsula Fire Department, along with a handshake from Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jane Boursaw Photo

Gilstorff noted that on August 4, 2019, the fire crew working that day responded to two cardiac incidents. Both patients were in dire stress, he said, and both of them, once they got to the hospital, arrested, which means their heart fully stopped. Thankfully, hospital staff were able to bring them back.

“The key is our folks started the appropriate care and got them the medicines they needed in order to have a positive outcome,” said Gilstorff. “If it hadn’t been for the ALS, who knows what the outcome would have been in these case.” For their dedication and swift responses, life-saving awards were presented to:

Joseph Sicoli, Paramedic/Firefighter.

Joseph Sicoli receives an award for his service with the Peninsula Fire Department, along with a handshake from Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jane Boursaw Photo
Joseph Sicoli receives an award for his service with the Peninsula Fire Department, along with a handshake from Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jane Boursaw Photo

Alex Werly, EMT/Firefighter.

Alex Werly receives an award for his service with the Peninsula Fire Department, along with a handshake from Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jane Boursaw Photo
Alex Werly receives an award for his service with the Peninsula Fire Department, along with a handshake from Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jane Boursaw Photo

Gilstorff said that on July 16, 2019, an industrial accident occurred on Bluff Road. Julie Moore, a health care professional, stopped at the accident and began rendering care before fire department personnel arrived. “Your selfless actions to stop and assist the victim and then assist the fire department members with continued care are deeply appreciated,” noted Gilstorff.

Julie Moore, Good Samaritan Life-Saving Award recipient.

Julie Moore receives a Good Samaritan Award from the Peninsula Fire Department for her life-saving actions during an industrial accident on Bluff Road on July 16, 2019; also pictured, Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jane Boursaw Photo
Julie Moore receives a Good Samaritan Award from the Peninsula Fire Department for her life-saving actions during an industrial accident on Bluff Road on July 16, 2019; also pictured, Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jane Boursaw Photo

Also present at the meeting was Chris Martin, the recipient of the life-saving actions taken by Moore and fire department personnel on July 16, 2019. Overcome with emotion, Martin thanked Moore and the fire department for saving his life.

“What you guys have done for me… I’m not real spiritual, but I’m going to say one thing. I laid there for what seemed like quite a while. I saw the bright light. I did think I was crossing over. I didn’t think I was going to make it … I just want to say thank you to all.”

Chris Martin thanks Julie Moore and the Peninsula Fire Department for saving his life after an industrial accident on Bluff Road on July 16, 2019 | Jane Boursaw Photo
Chris Martin thanks Julie Moore and the Peninsula Fire Department for saving his life after an industrial accident on Bluff Road on July 16, 2019 | Jane Boursaw Photo

Also involved with assisting Chris on that day, these fire department individuals received life-saving awards from the fire department:

Paul Lipke, Paramedic/Firefighter.

Peninsula Fire Department member Paul Lipke receives a Life-Saving Award for his actions during an industrial accident on Bluff Road on July 16, 2019; also pictured, Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jane Boursaw Photo
Peninsula Fire Department member Paul Lipke receives a Life-Saving Award for his actions during an industrial accident on Bluff Road on July 16, 2019; also pictured, Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jane Boursaw Photo

Grant Blackmer, EMT/Firefighter.

Peninsula Fire Department member Grant Blackmer receives a Life-Saving Award for his actions during an industrial accident on Bluff Road on July 16, 2019; also pictured, Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jane Boursaw Photo
Peninsula Fire Department member Grant Blackmer receives a Life-Saving Award for his actions during an industrial accident on Bluff Road on July 16, 2019; also pictured, Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jane Boursaw Photo

Dale Hall, EMT/Firefighter.

Peninsula Fire Department member Dale Hall receives a Life-Saving Award for his actions during an industrial accident on Bluff Road on July 16, 2019; also pictured, Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jane Boursaw Photo
Peninsula Fire Department member Dale Hall receives a Life-Saving Award for his actions during an industrial accident on Bluff Road on July 16, 2019; also pictured, Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jane Boursaw Photo

Jason Schuitema, Paramedic/Firefighter.

Peninsula Fire Department member Jason Schuitema receives a Life-Saving Award for his actions during an industrial accident on Bluff Road on July 16, 2019; also pictured, Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jane Boursaw Photo
Peninsula Fire Department member Jason Schuitema receives a Life-Saving Award for his actions during an industrial accident on Bluff Road on July 16, 2019; also pictured, Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold | Jane Boursaw Photo

Gilstorff also thanked everyone involved with organizing the January 4th memorial service for retired fire chief Rich VanderMey and expressed his gratitude for Rich’s devotion to the Peninsula Fire Department and Old Mission Peninsula community.

“I didn’t have the opportunity to know Rich for a long time, but I did have the opportunity to sit down with him on three or four different occasions to talk about the fire department, because the fire department has his name stamped all over it. I needed to know the history and what the direction was in order to continue what he had already started, as far as moving this fire department along. Everything I read in the files had his name on it.”

Gilstorff added, “The man was dedicated to this fire department and to this community. He went above and beyond with everything he did. He was a consummate firefighter’s firefighter. Anything anyone ever needed, he stepped up and took care of it.”

Gilstorff noted that starting next year, the “Firefighter of the Year” award will be called the “Fire Chief Rich VanderMey Memorial Firefighter of the Year” award. “I think it’s appropriate and well deserved, and we need to not forget what he did for this department,” he said.

Retired Fire Chief Rich VanderMey of the Peninsula Fire Department | VanderMey Photo
Retired Fire Chief Rich VanderMey of the Peninsula Fire Department | VanderMey Photo

We Need Your Support!

Old Mission Gazette is a reader-supported newspaper, and we need your ongoing support to keep delivering OMP news, history, photos, events and more. Owners Tim and Jane Boursaw are devoted to the Old Mission Peninsula community, and every contribution, big or small, is valuable. Click HERE to support Old Mission Gazette. Thank you!


Bay View Insurance of Traverse City Michigan

2 COMMENTS

  1. I thank our good Lord often, for the reliable and trained people, we have risking their lives, to protect us on the Peninsula. You do a wonderful job.

    Thanks to your committed and understanding families too.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
  
Please enter an e-mail address

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.