Greg Kemnitz tried some field sobriety tests while wearing special simulation goggles. He found out that maintaining balance wasn’t so easy, much to the amusement of the crowd of onlookers!


Marquette County emergency personnel host first Public Safety Day event


The first Marquette County Public Safety Day was a great opportunity for families to see the county’s emergency equipment close-up and talk with the men and women who operate it. The event was held at the Marquette County Fairgrounds in Westfield last Saturday. Although the day was a bit chilly, it saw good attendance for the first year and provided lots of great information for all ages to enjoy.

Attending with personnel and equipment were: Briggsville Fire Dept. Montello Fire & Rescue, Village of Westfield Fire Dept., Harris Fire & Rescue, Oxford Fire & Rescue, Town of Springfield Fire Dept., Town of Westfield Fire Dept., Town of Newton Fire Dept., Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources-Montello Ranger Station, Marquette County EMS, Marquette County Sheriff’s Office, Oxford, Westfield and Montello police departments, and DARE Officers, who raised money for the DARE program in Marquette County by selling drinks and food.

Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Kowalski and his K9 Axel participated in a demonstration to show Axel’s drug-sniffing and attack skills. Kowalski and Axel were recently named Rookie Team of the Year by the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Handlers Association, nominated by Sheriff Kim Gaffney.

Officers from the Sheriff’s Department explained how drunk driving arrests are conducted, along with ignition interlock and other information. They then pulled out special goggles that simulate how a person’s sight may be impaired when drunk and put volunteers through some field sobriety tests, as well as a golf cart driving simulation.

The Montello Fire & Rescue performed an extrication demonstration, using their power tools to cut into an overturned car set up at the event. Harris Fire & Rescue handled the landing zone for UW Medflight, which flew in to give visitors a close-up look at how they handle medical emergency transportation.

Mike Bourdeau, president of the Marquette County Firefighters Association, said attendance was good for the first year, adding, “We are working on plans already to try and get a better attendance next year including the possibility of moving it to an earlier date so it is a bit warmer and try to get more activities to do, including possible games and things to do for the kids.

The Town of Westfield Fire Dept. raised money for Budda-Box Against Cancer by selling lots of baked goods.
Sponsors for the event included Camp Freeland Leslie Boy Scout Camp – Oxford, Apollo Tool – Westfield, Becker’s Auto Service – Westfield, Borud’s True Value – Oxford, Bad Brad’s Sports Bar – Oxford, Captain Jack’s BBQ – Montello, and Kemnitz Auto – Harrisville.