Facilities Management employees Nathan Rusch and Lyle Uitenbroek were joined on stage by student worker Samantha Braaten at the University Union’s Phoenix Room during the annual faculty-staff Convocation on Aug. 26.
The three were invited forward by UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller to receive certificates of appreciation for their response to a potentially life-threatening accident earlier this month. They also received a standing ovation.
Braaten and a fourth staff member were on routine duty Aug. 18, clearing storm debris from one of the Arboretum trails. A good-sized tree had fallen, blocking the path and creating a hazard.
The tree shifted, pinning Braaten’s partner. It stretched across his neck and upper body, making it difficult for him to breathe. Braaten reacted immediately and, summoning her strength and using branches as levers, she managed to keep the full weight off of the victim. She also dialed for help.
Rusch and Uitenbroek were first to arrive. They found a chain saw and began cutting away sections while continuing to protect their pinned colleage.
By the time Public Safety and Green Bay Fire and Rescue arrived, the victim had been freed and was breathing normally, although experiencing pain. He was transported and released later that day.
The certificates read:
“In appreciation and recognition of heroic actions and outstanding performance on August 18th, 2015”… awarded this day… signed, Gary L. Miller, Chancellor.
A student employee is being praised for helping save a UWGB staff member pinned beneath a tree last Tuesday morning (Aug. 18) as the two were cleaning storm debris from an arboretum trail. The student, Samantha R. Braaten, was out with co-worker Dan Koetz, an arboretum specialist with the Facilities Management division, at about 9:30 a.m. to clear a fallen tree blocking a path near Mahon Creek on the south side of campus. When the tree shifted, campus police say, it landed across Koetz’s neck and upper body, making it difficult for him to breathe. Braaten tried lifting the section of the trunk (about a foot in diameter) and used branches as levers to begin to relieve the pressure, and then dialed for help. As Braaten continued to keep the full weight off Koetz, facilities workers Lyle Uitenbroek and Nathan Rusch arrived. When the three still couldn’t free Koetz by lifting, Rusch grabbed a chain saw and began to cut sections away. Braaten then flagged down Public Safety officers Chad Kleman and David Jones, arriving on the scene. Freed from under the tree, Koetz remained conscious but reported pain, and was transported by Green Bay Fire and Rescue responders. He was released from the hospital later that day. Both Police Chief Tom Kujawa and Facilities Director Paul Pinktson commended all involved in the rescue, especially the student, Braaten, for her potentially life-saving actions. Braaten, a political science major from Suamico, earned the Chancellor’s Medallion and her diploma earlier this summer.
A ceremony was held this morning (Friday, May 15) to dedicate “Les Raduenz Woods,” a 22-acre forest/woodland south of Circle Drive across from the Office of Facilities Management. Raduenz was a central figure in development of the Cofrin Arboretum and UW-Green Bay campus for 35 years until his retirement in 2006 as director of Facilities Management, a position he held for 12 years. Raduenz took a special interest in this area, overseeing a tree planting program that has led to its conversion into an early successional woodland and, eventually, an extension of Mahon Woods, one of the Arboretum’s most important natural features. Others who contributed significantly to the development of Les Raduenz Woods included faculty members Dr. Keith White, Dr. Paul Sager, and founding Chancellor Edward Weidner; Facilities Management staff members Mike Vanlanen, Lylas Dequaine, Dennis Nellis, Jim Stiefvater, and Paul Pinkston; and students like Neil Diboll, who eventually became a pioneer in ecological restoration through the establishment of his company, Prairie Nursery, located near Westfield, Wis. For an aerial photo map of the area, pre-campus 1960 and current day.
Hats off to the custodians, HVAC specialists and staff of Facilities Management and Public Safety for their rapid response — and hard work — in the wake of Monday morning’s indoor rainstorm on the first floor of the Cofrin Library. Water from a broken pipe soaked ceiling tiles and rained down on carpet, flooring and chairs near the Garden Cafe. Housekeeping crews had most of the mess cleaned up within hours, although large drying fans were still in place a day later. It is believed that malfunctioning fresh-air intakes failed to properly regulate the amount of bitter-cold air drawn into the system, leading to cracks in the water-filled “pre-heating” pipes supplemental to the larger heating/cooling ducts. David Jones of Public Safety captured the flood scene in a snapshot.
John O. Kalies, 77, of De Pere, passed away unexpectedly Dec. 9 at home. A sailor with the US Navy on the USS Wisconsin, Kalies was a founding staff member of UW-Green Bay on the Shorewood site. He worked for UW-Green Bay for more than 30 years, retiring from Facilities Management as a power plant operator in 1999. Survivors include his wife, Mary, four children, grandchildren and others. Friends may all at Ryan Funeral Home in De Pere between 4 and 7 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 16), or from 9 a.m. Wednesday until the 11 a.m. funeral at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Oneida. See a full obituary.
Already emailed campuswide but repeated here for the record: Paul Pinkston, director of Facilities Planning and Management, is advising drivers to keep an eye out for road work over the coming week. “There will be a contractor performing road repairs to Wood Hall Drive, Main Entrance Drive, Weidner Center Drive, Lab Science Drive, Leon Bond Drive, and University Union Court. They will start work on Wood Hall Drive and try to complete the west side of campus before moving to the east side of campus. Expect to see orange road construction signs, flag persons, and orange cones directing vehicles. Please follow their directions. This work will only be happening if it doesn’t rain.”
A loyal reader of the Log faculty/staff newsletter took this smartphone photo the other day when he saw this energetic crew from Operations at work on the concourse (first-floor hallway) of the Cofrin Library. “Looks like the UW-Green Bay curling team,” he said.
It does look a little like that, but it’s actually staff members Karen Nicholas, Eric Anderson and Lynn Renard using metal scrapers to do the painstaking work of stripping layers of coating from the original tile hallways. It is believed the flooring is original equipment, dating to the library’s opening in 1972, and that it has been at least a decade (or more) since the layers of wax buildup have been taken down to the tile surface.
They’re planning to get the weeks-long project completed relatively soon so a fresh coat of wax can be ready for traffic when most students and faculty return for the fall semester in late August.
A fun Press-Gazette feature suggests that UW-Green Bay students haven’t been all that bothered by the extreme cold: “The University, like a handful of others across Wisconsin, has a system of tunnels and hallways connecting its main academic buildings. That means students can walk comfortably from class to class without piling on the layers.” There are photos, and quotes from Paul Pinkston, director of facilities management and planning, about the system that Founding Chancellor Edward Weidner justified in budget requests as intellectually necessary for an interdisciplinary institution where everybody was interconnected and working with others across campus every day. Read more.
Already broadcast campuswide but repeated here for the record: Facilities Management will begin work Thursday on replacing the exterior stairway that connects the Student Services Plaza with the lower (campus-quad) level near the Garden Café sidewalk entrance to the University Union. The work could extend through November. Barricades will be erected around the construction zone.
Already sent campuswide but repeated here for the benefit of any off-campus readers who might be traveling here in the next day or two: South Circle Drive, between Wood Hall Drive and Laboratory Sciences Drive, will be closed until noon on Thursday. Plan your route accordingly.