"Heroes are the people who do what has to be done, when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences."
To read more about each inductee, the details of their actions and to see a photo, click on their name. Click here to read all of "Their Stories"
FINLAY BEATON Superior Police Department
MIKE JOHNSON & Superior Fire Department, Life Rescue, February 2, 1979
T. ROUSE JR.
Killed in the Line of Duty, September 17, 1996
Firefighter Education & Training
TOM CHAMPAIGNE Superior Police Department
DENNIS EDWARDS S R .
.Superior Fire Department
KIM NESSEL Eau Claire Fire Department
AttemptedRescue, January 23, 1995
WAYNE KLETT Eau Claire Fire Department
AttemptedRescue, January 23, 1995
AttemptedRescue, January 23, 1995
Wounded in the Line of Duty, December 25, 1965
LAWRENCE O’ROURKE Appleton Fire Department
ALAN STUART Appleton Fire Department
Lifetime Achievement – Firefighter Education & Training, Public Fire Safety Education, & Development of new procedures to increase firefighter safety & efficiency
TIMOTHY HAHN M
Madison Police Department
TIMOTHY NEWMAN Attempted
AttemptedRescue, April 29, 2000
ADOLF G. JACOBSON
Lifetime Achievement – Public Fire Prevention Education
MARK MERNITZ Eau Claire Fire Department
KOERNER Eau Claire Fire Department
ROBERT DRAKOS Milwaukee Police
Honorary Induction of All
FIRE DEPARTMENT OF NEW
NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT
NEW YORK / NEW JERSEY PORT AUTHORITY POLICE DEPARTMENT
GARY BEHRENS LaCrosse Fire Department Attempted Rescue, March 7, 2003
WILLIAM PATZA LaCrosse Fire Department Attempted Rescue, March 7, 2003
MICHAEL FEINBERG Milwaukee County Sheriff Department Life Rescue, March 15, 1999
RICHARD LINDAUER Madison Fire Department Lifetime Achievement~ Decades of Community Service and volunteering
RICHARD PUKEMA Superior Police Department Life Rescue November 8, 1980
GARY GRAVESON Superior
Police Department Life Rescue November 8, 1980
MICHAEL WOODZICKA Appleton Fire Department Life Rescue, May 4, 2002
PATRICK KEARNEY Appleton Fire Department Life Rescue, May 4, 2002
WENDELL RICE Platteville Volunteer Fire Department Lifetime Achievement~ Instrumental in starting EMS program in Plattville
RONALD MAYER Franklin Fire Department Life Rescue, February 18, 2002
(There was no induction banquet held in 2005)
LESLIE BOLDT Wisconsin State Patrol Life Rescue, July 19, 2004
DAVID GEE Chippewa County Sheriff's Dept. Life Rescue, June 19, 1979
JON TAYLOR Chippewa Falls Fire & Emergency Services Life Rescue, December 9, 2005
JASON THOM Chippewa Falls Fire & Emergency Services Life Rescue, December 9, 2005
JOE PRZYBYLSKI Chippewa Falls Fire & Emergency Services Life Rescue, December 9, 2005
CHADWICK HOLDORF Green Lake County Sheriff Department Attempted Life Rescue of Fellow Officer, October 19, 2003
BRUCE WILLIAMS Green Lake County Sheriff Department Killed in the Line of Duty, October 19, 2003
ROBERT BURTARD Manitowoc Fire Department Life Rescue, May 6, 1979
GREGORY RENZ City of Milwaukee
Fire Department Life Rescue, December 6, 2004
(There was no induction banquet held in 2007)
BLANE NEHER La Cross Fire Department Life Rescue, July 19, 2004
TIM McCAUGHEY Eau Claire Life Rescue, June 19, 1979
Doug Vrechek, Mike Becker, Mike Woodzicka, Frederick James
Appleton Fire Department
In the early morning hours of December 29, 2007, the Appleton Fire Department was dispatched to a structure fire in an older, wooden, duplex. The crews answering the call for help first had to navigate through the icy city streets, which were covered in freshly fallen snow. The original message given to the firefighters was that everyone was out of the house, but when the first crew arrived they were met by a woman, who was frantically pleading with them to get to her four young children who were still inside the home.
The woman, Tricia Dunster, had just been rescued from the basement of her burning home by her upstairs neighbors who had pulled her out of the house through a broken basement window. Now bleeding from being cut by broken glass she tried to get to her children but the smoke and heat prevented this mother’s greatest efforts to get in and rescue them.
Driver/Engineer Doug Vrechek and Firefighter Mike Becker were at the front door, tasked with entering the house to search for the children. With visibility near zero and the unchecked fire burning below them Vrechek and Becker made their way inside and found the front bedroom where two of the four of the children, Kailey and Aailiyah were sleeping.
Lieutenant Mike Woodzicka and Captain Frederick James were also making their way into the house to search for the trapped children. They went into the dark, untenable house, where they found another bedroom, where, fortunately, the 15-month old twins, Brayden and Brycen were found.
Each of these four firefighters now held a young child in their arms and they quickly carried them outside where they then attended to their medical needs.
After treatment at the hospital for their injuries the four young children and their mother were all released and went on to recover from this life-threatening ordeal.
Deputy Fire Chief Reece summed up this call in one line: “Without the courage and diligent work of these four individuals conducting the search and rescue operations, the outcome of this fire could have been tragic.”
Pete Terry & Larry Zais
Menomonie Fire Department
In the early morning hours of February 25, 2010 a fire occurred in a two-story, 6-plex in the city of Menomonie. The apartment building is student housing for the University of Wisconsin, Stout.
Within minutes of the call firefighters arrived to find heavy black smoke coming out of the front of the building. As the first arriving firefighters pulled hose-lines to attack the growing fire they were told by two of the residents from one of the apartments that their roommate was still inside. These same residents just moments earlier were alerted to the fire and were able to rescue themselves. But now precious minutes have passed and the conditions inside the building were growing worse and their roommate had not been seen outside.
Pipemen Pete Terry and Larry Zais from Engine #6 were on the nozzle moving into the front door. The smoke was pushing from below, the fire burning somewhere in the basement. They were told that the missing woman was upstairs, where the conditions were growing worse by the second. Knowing that searching with the hose-line would slow their efforts, they handed the line to another crew and then ascended the stairs to search for the victim.
Within minutes they found the missing woman, Elizabeth, semi-conscious, lying on the floor. Together they carried her downstairs and outside where her immediate medical needs was cared for by firefighters from Engine #2. The Engine #2 crew then transported Elizabeth to Red Cedar Medical Center where she was treated for her injuries.
Firefighters Pete Terry and Larry Zais put themselves in a perilous position by searching without their hose-line but the trust that their fellow firefighters would handle the fire while they went above it gave them the window of opportunity they needed. This gallant effort and exceptional dedication to duty in the highest tradition of firefighting resulted in a precious life saved.
All of these people were nominated by their peers, family, or other citizens for extraordinary acts of bravery, lifetime achievements in their field, or exceptional service to their community.
We know there are others deserving of this honor.
PLEASE HELP US RECOGNIZE THEM
For more information please contact:
Wisconsin Fire & Police Hall of Fame
3326 Tower Avenue
Superior, WI 54880