Police, firefighters, paramedics at Waupaca event
Many Waupaca residents drive or walk by the building at 124 S. Washington St. everyday.
For many, that’s the closest they ordinarily get to the organizations that protect them.
Residents will have an opportunity to speak with their local police, firefighters and paramedics from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 415 S. Main St, Waupaca.
St. Mark’s Outreach Coordinator Judy Bertling is an organizer for “Meet Your Protectors.”
“When I lived in Illinois, my husband was the chairman of the Police and Fire Board in our community,” Bertling said. “Once a year, we would have the police, fire, and other first responders bring their police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances into the neighborhoods. And as many members as were available from each of those departments would come to interact with all of the people. The community protectors showed their emergency vehicles and answered all of the questions people had.”
Bertling said the event is designed to bring the community together, allowing community members to familiarize themselves with the people who protect them, as well as to show their support.
The Waupaca Fire Department protects 145 square miles, including part of Portage County. People will be able to ask how they meet the challenge and to take a look at the equipment they usually see flashing by, as their protectors rush to help others in an emergency.
Gold Cross Ambulance responders will answer questions and show how their vehicle is equipped to save lives.
Refreshments at the event will be free.
St. Mark’s will also hand out a free blue light bulb to each of the first 100 families who would like to join the national “Project Blue Light.” The project’s goal is to light porches blue to convey support for local law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical personnel.
Free child fingerprinting will be offered but not required.
St. Mark’s Rev. Nigel J. Bousfield said, “By the grace of God and the diligence of the good people of Waupaca, our community has not been affected by the kind of tragedy many cities have recently experienced. We are honored to work with Waupaca County Sheriff Brad Hardel, Interim Police Chief Brian Hoelzel and Fire Chief Jerry Deuman to bring the ‘Meet Your Protectors’ event to our community.”
“This event should let community members meet our emergency responders in a stress-free environment,” Waupaca Mayor Brian Smith said. “We owe so much to these professionals that it would be wonderful if the community could come out and express appreciation and support in person.”