Lifesaving Police Officers, Firefighters Awarded

first_imgLocal police and fire department officials recognized the public safety officers responsible for helping save a young boy’s life in Columbia Falls recently.At a Kalispell City Council meeting on Nov. 7, Police Chief Roger Nasset and Interim Fire Chief Dave Dedman gave public service awards to the 10 police officers and firefighters who had a hand in saving the life of 12-year-old Beau Bronson. Bronson collapsed after riding his bike on Oct. 8 because of a rare heart disorder but was kept alive by CPR by neighbor Kyle Lockwood and responding safety officers.Bronson had no pulse and was clinically deceased when officers and fire fighters arrived, Dedman said. But because Lockwood, a U.S. Army veteran, and others gave immediate aid, the young boy was revived and stabilized in the emergency room.“This is the miracle, Beau Bronson,” Jerry Nix said at the Nov. 7 meeting, pointing to the young boy sitting in the front row with his arm in a sling.Dedman presented six firefighters with rare Life Saving Awards: Trent Cook, Mike Chappuis, Ben Graham, Soren Koetter, Doug Schwartz and F. Ray Ruffatto. Captain Kirk Pederson was also recognized for arriving on scene and helping despite being off duty at the time.Nasset awarded the Making a Difference Awards to four police officers: Sergeant Tony McDonnell, Steve Hoover, Cory Clarke and Chad Fetveit.Lockwood and his wife Victoria were also recognized for their life-saving efforts.“We can’t say enough how much we appreciate what you all did,” Mayor Tammi Fisher said. “You all worked together in raising the character of this community.”In an emotional climax to the short ceremony, officers wheeled in Bronson’s bike and returned it to him. Later in the evening, the city council continued efforts to shape a vision for the West Side Urban Renewal District.After a lengthy discussion that included a proposal to remove the county fairgrounds from the district’s potential boundaries, the council voted to move forward with the planning department’s recommended expansion and pass the ordinance.The planning staff will now study the newly amended area and present their findings to the council for approval. If a planning direction is approved, potential projects and financing mechanisms can be developed. Councilors and city officials emphasized that one of those financial mechanisms, the West Side Tax Increment Finance District, is a separate discussion that will be made down the road once projects have surfaced.Before the ordinance passed, Councilor Tim Kluesner asked for an amendment that would remove the Flathead County Fairgrounds from the boundary because “there’s a cost, but there’s no benefit.”Kluesner said the lack of a sales or resort tax limits the city’s benefits when it comes to the fairgrounds, and therefore city money should not fund upgrades at the county facilities. Currently the West Side Urban Renewal Plan has a stated goal that includes upgrades at the fairgrounds.Councilor Bob Hafferman spoke up in support of Kluesner’s amendment.“I think it’s a piece of county property that we let the county determine their own destiny,” he said. “They’ve had to do that before and I see no particular reason why we should sit here and plan for the county.”Councilor Wayne Saverud argued that all residents, city or county, are still members of the same community, and picking sides should be avoided.“It’s not an ‘us or a them (issue),’” Saverud said. “It would seem to me we have 30 to 40 acres sitting smack dab in the middle of an area that is without question a great example of blight,” he added.Kluesner’s amendment failed after it was determined an amendment could be made in the future that would change the goals of the district. Email Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.last_img

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