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Lincoln Council recognizes life-saving efforts

Local firefighters, police honored
By: Steve Archer, Reporter
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Lincoln resident James Newell and Lincoln Police Officer Bryce Rodgers met in the early morning hours of June 16.

The two were reunited Tuesday night when they were recognized by the Lincoln City Council for their lifesaving efforts during a fire at the Sunset Villa Mobile Home Park off of O Street. Newell, a park resident, pulled Carol Peterson to safety and Rodgers rescued Dale Peterson. The couple was trapped in their mobile home as it burned.

Lincoln Fire Chief Kurt Snyder presented both men with plaques memorializing their lifesaving efforts.

“Officer Rodgers arrived on the scene as Mr. Newell pulled the woman out of the back window of the mobile home,” Snyder said. “Officer Rodgers witnessed a man trying to get out the front sliding door, made his way to the porch – with the awning on fire – and started pulling. The man’s shoes were hung-up on the doorway and he pulled the man out of his shoes and to safety.”

“Without these two gentlemen, two lives would have been lost that night,” Snyder added.

Lincoln Mayor Spencer Short said he was impressed with Rodgers’ dedication.

“Officer Rodgers suffered from smoke that night,” Short said. “But he returned to work because he didn’t want to leave the department short-handed.”

The council also honored Capt. Evan Faddis and Aaron Bjorgum of the Lincoln Fire Department for saving a Lincoln man from choking on May 19.

Snyder said Faddis and Bjorgum responded to a First Street residence to find a man unconscious and choking.

“They entered the house and found a man with a full airway obstruction,” Snyder said. “There was someone there doing a modified Heimlich maneuver.”

Snyder said the patient was a large man and the firefighters could not clear his airway with chest compressions. Snyder said chest compressions are used on people who are choking and unconscious.

“Aaron picked the man up and, with six Heimlichs, was able to dislodge the food,” Snyder said, adding that the firefighters’ quick-thinking and situational awareness saved the man’s life.

National Night Out

National Night Out, an annual event designed to build community and police relations, will be held Tuesday across the nation. A family-oriented event will be held at the Lincoln Target store.

Short asked Tuesday night if Lincoln police officers would participate.

“I heard we will not have police officers out and I’m concerned about that,” Short said. “I’m concerned about that; National Night Out is key to community outreach and I want to make sure at least one officer is with each group going out.”

Lincoln City Manager Matt Brower said the police department is currently short-staffed and that arrangements had been made for police volunteers to participate in the event.

Short commented that the department has been under-staffed for some time.

Sgt. Brent Craft, acting Lincoln Police Chief, said he would be at the event and would meet with local block parties.

“The Target event will have police volunteers and officers who are on duty will go by the block parties if they have time,” Craft said. “We will do the best we can and I will definitely be there.”

Short, and Councilmen Stan Nader and Peter Gilbert said they would support the use of over-time to insure officers participated in National Night Out.

“I know officers are already working over-time but, given the importance of the event, I encourage off-duty officers to come out for a couple of hours,” Nader said.