Director of Public Safety Steve Grinnewald stands with members of the Dowagiac Police and Fire Departments, five of whom were awarded with an accommodation for saving the life of Dowagiac woman earlier this year. From left to right: Deputy Police Chief Jarrid Bradford, Officer James Kusa, Officer Matthew Behnke, Director of Public Safety Steve Grinnewald, Capt. Michael Mattix, Lt. Robert Nelson, Lt. Robert Smith, Deputy Fire Chief Guy Evans.
Director of Public Safety Steve Grinnewald stands with members of the Dowagiac Police and Fire Departments, five of whom were awarded with an accommodation for saving the life of Dowagiac woman earlier this year. From left to right: Deputy Police Chief Jarrid Bradford, Officer James Kusa, Officer Matthew Behnke, Director of Public Safety Steve Grinnewald, Capt. Michael Mattix, Lt. Robert Nelson, Lt. Robert Smith, Deputy Fire Chief Guy Evans.

Archived Story

Five officers honored by City Council

Published 6:43pm Tuesday, December 10, 2013

During the regular meeting of the Dowagiac City Council Monday. ive members of the Dowagiac Police and Fire Departments received an award for saving the life of an area woman.

Dowagiac Director of Public Safety Steve Grinnewald presented the medals to James Kusa, Matthew Behnke, Robert Nelson, Michael Mattix and Robert Smith for their actions in saving the life of a Dowagiac resident earlier this year.

“I have no doubt that each of the professionals honored tonight will tell you that they did nothing special, they just did their jobs,” Grinnewald said during the ceremony. “However what they did was special.  They saved a person’s life.  Because of them a family has a daughter, a sister, a mother, a grandmother, and a community has a friend.”

According to Grinnewald, officers Kusa and Behnke were dispatched to the victim’s apartment after receiving a call from a family member who was concerned for her wellbeing. After knocking on her door and receiving no answer, Kusa decided to call the Dowagiac Fire Department to help them enter the apartment.

The three firefighters  assisted the police in breaching the apartment doors, where they discovered the victim unconscious and in critical condition. EMS officials transported her to Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital, before she was transferred Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo.

Grinnewald praised all five officers for their actions, saying that they made the correct decision to enter the apartment despite the limited information presented at the scene.

“I am extremely proud to be the leader of an organization made up of professionals like yourselves, Grinnewald said. ”Your hard work, dedication, commitment and honor are something that we all strive to achieve.  Thank you for the job that you did on that August day and the job that you continue to do each and every day.”

Officials have withheld the name of the woman the officers rescued to protect her privacy.

The city council passed a number of resolutions during Monday’s meeting, including:

• A motion to enter into a partnership with Arkos Design to create preliminary plans for additions to the Dowagiac Area History Museum. The firm will determine ways to utilize the Museum’s unfinished third floor, as well as potential expansion opportunities. The estimated cost for the work will cost between $5,000 and $6,700, and will be taken from the $10,000 worth of donations given toward the museum, said City Manager Kevin Anderson.

• A resolution to extend the city’s 10-year contract with Jerdon Development Company until June of 2014. The company developed a water booster station at the Villamere Condominium. The extension is to give the company enough time to sell off its last remaining pump.

• A resolution to issue a special land use permit to Laura Wade for the establishment a childcare center on 307 First Ave.

• A motion to authorize payment for the city’s outstanding bills and payroll, in the amount of $361,037.21.

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