SIDNEY — Monday evening’s City Council meeting was packed wall-to-wall as six Sidney police officers were presented with Lifesaving Awards for administering medical aid to those in need, Sidney’s 2015 Firefighter of the Year was recognized, and the City’s four new firefighters were introduced.
Police Chief Will Balling started the meeting off by honoring Officers Matt Kleinhans, Kyle Lambdin, Kevin Calvert, James Jennings and Sgts. Jeremy Lorenzo and Warren Melerine for their following courageous and compassionate service in “varying life threatening situations:”
On March 11, 2016, Lorenzo, Calvert and Jennings preformed CPR on a man not breathing until the Sidney Fire Department arrived. The man was taken to Wilson Health and revived.
Melerine was first on the scene of a fatal fire on April 21, 2016, but was able help a disoriented man out and to safety who was just inside of the burning house.
On April 27, 2016, Kleinhans and Lambdin responded to Ross Aluminum on Oak Avenue on a report of a man down. Two individuals already present were conducting CPR but when the officers arrived they immediately took over and began preforming “lifesaving actions” until Sidney Fire Department arrived to provide care. The man was transported to Wilson Health and began breathing again.
Typically the Lifesaving Award also includes a plaque and a ribbon, but due the number of other events during the evening and also as a “personal thank you” from Balling and Captain Bill Shoemaker, they planned to visit each officer personally on their shift to hand out the awards.
Balling praised the officers and their team efforts saying, “It’s about a team not just one, and even though I don’t want to diminish what these guys have done here, it does take a team and that is what this department is all about.”
“None of us really want a Lifesaving Award, but the beauty of this award, like the chief said, is that our coworkers are the ones who recognize us for this, so it’s nice to be recognized by guys that you work with daily. And that’s what really makes it special. We are not heroes; this is what we do every day. Any officer that was in a situation that we were in at the time would have performed exactly how we did in that situation, so we will all except this award on everyone in our department’s behalf,” said Lorenzo speaking behalf of all six.
Following the police commendations, Fire Chief Brad Jones presented Mark Pleiman with the honor of Sidney’s 2015 Firefighter of the Year.
This individual is recognized by their peers for “outstanding performance” consistently at the “top level,” has a “cooperative attitude, demonstrates a high level of proficiency while operating at emergency incidents, projects a positive image of the department to the public, and seeks ways to improve delivery of departmental services.”
Pleiman has been with the department for almost 17 years. He is a certified paramedic, with an associate degree in emergency medical service/fire science administration from Sinclair College. He resides in Fort Loramie, and he and his wife, Diane, have two children, Elizabeth and Caleb.
During his career, Pleiman has served in several capacities within the department. He has been an educator in the Juvenile Fire Setter program, is a committee member of the Strategic Planning Process and has been a “long standing member” of the Labor/Management Committee.
Pleiman has been recognized for his outstanding service with the Fire Department going back as early as 2002 when he received the Fire Chief’s Commendation Award for “tirelessly working” to save a person from a collapsed structure; to obtaining a Letter of Commendation in 2004 for rescuing victims in an auto accident, during which his own life was put in danger as he and others had to “dive over the guard rail to avoid injury,” and then again in 2013 for his “exceptional teamwork and leadership skills” exhibited during a structure fire.
Plieman’s efficient professionalism goes on with other actions in 2009, when he saved a driver, just in an accident, from the car submerging in water; in 2011, when he rescued an individual trapped following an auto accident; in 2012 for his “quick actions in a multiple car accident; and also twice in 2014, when he helped save a life of a patient in respiratory distress, and later that year for his “rescue efforts in an early morning house fire.”
“Firefighter Pleiman is clearly a credit to the Department and an asset to the entire community,” Jones said as he presented Pleiman with the award.
“Individual awards – we are all not a big fan of them, but what is does do is definitely (demonstrate) a team award. We got the leadership of Assistant Chief Hollinger, Lt. Barga; we have the experience of Ken Girod, Tony McLain, Mark Barga; we have the youth of Jordan, Chance and Kyle and we got four new guys we are getting ready to introduce to everybody, as well,” Pleiman said as he thanked those in his department after acknowledging and expressing appreciation and reassurance to the police department also on the scene of emergency incidents, as well as thanking his family.
Finally, Jones introduced four new firefighters who stated Monday: Adam Schulze, Derek Stitzel, Andrew Zumberger and Caleb Dersch.
As Jones welcomed aboard the new firefighters, he told a story of when Schulze was in high school going along on a ride along event saying, “in one day he was hooked and liked the fire service. If you think about that, Sidney Fire hooked him. He went out into the world and then we reeled him back in.”
Through out the meeting several council members, including Mayor Mike Barhorst and Darryl Thurber thanked the fire and police chiefs for their departments’ good works.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.