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.
UW-Green Bay Public Safety are planning a free self-defense workshop for faculty and staff on Tuesday, Aug. 11, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Kress Event’s Center Special Events Room. Details? See our previous post, or RSVP by email to Officer Chad Kleman.
The Green Bay Police Department attracted some media attention for its Keep Kids Alive Drive safety campaign to address a worrisome speeding problem on Nicolet Drive north of campus. Police are trying to raise driver consciousness in the Nicolet neighborhood by placing yellow warning decals on garbage cans, and using yard signs and speed boards. They are also employing increased enforcement to slow down vehicles that sometimes approach highway speed despite a 35-mph limit. UWGB’s Lt. Jeff Gross reports that during a news conference, the GBPD and city officials thanked UW-Green Bay Public Safety officers for their contributions to police radar enforcement on Nicolet and for sharing their campus radar speed board (which is now in front of the Sisters of St. Francis complex at 3000 N. Nicolet) to help with the educational awareness. Typical of the online stories is one by TV-2.
Instructors from UW-Green Bay Public Safety are planning a free self-defense workshop for faculty and staff on Tuesday, Aug. 11, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Kress Event’s Center Special Events Room. Details? See our previous post, or RSVP by email to Officer Chad Kleman.
Instructors from UW-Green Bay Public Safety are planning a free self-defense workshop for faculty and staff on Tuesday, Aug. 11, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Kress Event’s Center Special Events Room. The session is limited to 16 participants, so reserve your place in advance; you will be notified of your acceptance. This hands-on training event provides basic instruction to include knee and elbow strikes, kicks and more. New from past sessions: additional ground defense techniques have been added. This class includes physical activity and participants are encouraged to wear workout type of clothing. Participants will have the opportunity at the end of the training to participate in training exercises to see how they handle an “attack” with the new skills they have learned. Advance registration via email is required, and a waiver must be signed, to be provided at the time of training. To sign up, email Officer Chad Kleman.
A suspect has been charged in connection with a murder that took place during the early morning hours June 8 in a parking lot along the campus bayshore. Percy Sims, 26, of Milwaukee, appeared in Brown County Circuit Court Wednesday to face a charge of first degree intentional homicide. A judge set a $1 million bond because of Sims’s violent past. 39-year-old Krystal Torres-Smith of Green Bay was found by a campus public safety officer. Investigators from the Green Bay Police Department say she was shot multiple times while sitting in the driver’s seat of her SUV. Police say they believe the murder happened during a drug deal. For TV-2’s reporting, click here.
Gannett Media reports that the Green Bay Police Department Dive Team has been searching the waters of Green Bay near the parking lot where the body of 39-year-old Krystal R. Torres-Smith was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds early Monday morning. The search for evidence, including a possible weapon, has expanded from the shoreline into the bay since Torres-Smith’s body was found by a UW-Green Bay police officer. Funeral arrangements for Torres-Smith, a mother of three and member of the Oneida Nation, are being handled by Ryan Funeral Home of De Pere. For more on the criminal investigation.
UW-Green Bay Police Sgt. Cindy Estrup was interviewed recently by WBAY-TV 2 for a story on local training aimed at helping law enforcement officers better identify and assist the mentally ill. “I think this is the direction most law enforcement agencies need to go,” Estrup says. The story said at least three UWGB officers are now being trained in crisis intervention — “just to have some more tools as to know what to look for and when we do see it and are able to identify it, different ways to approach it.”
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay opened for business at 6 a.m. today (Monday, June 8) as city police continue to investigate the overnight discovery of an apparent homicide victim in a car parked at Communiversity Park.
Nicolet Drive remains open for traffic. Police are continuing their patrols but say they have no reason to believe any suspect or suspects remain in the area. Communiversity Park is located along the bayshore about one-half mile from the main academic buildings of the central campus.
University Police Chief Tom Kujawa distributed notice to members of the campus community of the situation via emails and GB Alert text messages during the 3 o’clock hour this morning. Kujawa says a UW-Green Bay officer on routine patrol discovered the apparent victim, a female, at about 2:30 a.m.
In a 6:25 a.m. email update, Kujawa shared the following:
The case has been turned over to Green Bay Police Department for investigation. The victim is not a student and we do not believe she had ties to the campus community. Officers from UW-Green Bay and the Green Bay Police Department are on scene and will continue to patrol the campus and surrounding area.
No (weapon) has been located at this time. No (assailant) has been located at this time.
The campus buildings, routinely locked at night, are now open for business. Please stay off the campus trails at this time.
If you have any information please contact UW-Green Bay Public Safety at 920 465-2300 or dial 911.