Chesterton Tribune



Cheers go to Burns Harbor lifesavers, parks' 5K run, scholarship winners

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Several pats on the back were offered during Wednesday’s Burns Harbor Town Council meeting, including four lifesaver awards.

The first went to someone who is not used to saving lives but she took action when she was in the right place at the right time.

Mail carrier Cricket Webber, from the Chesterton Post Office, has worked her route 21 years in Burns Harbor -- six as a sub and 15 as a regular carrier. She was delivering mail when she realized one resident was in “some degree of stress.”

Councilman Jeff Freeze said Webber assessed the situation as a “definite medical emergency” and called the authorities, subsequently saving the resident’s life.

Webber received a medal of honor lifesavers award from the Council and a standing ovation. “I think anyone would have done something,” she said humbly,

Town Police Chief Mike Heckman and Fire Chief Bill Arney presented lifesaver awards to BHFD Lt. Rob Wesley, firefighter Brandon Shipman and police officer Tim Lucas, who joined the force just this year.

All three men had been on the scene one morning responding to a call of a subject not breathing. The rescuers performed CPR on the individual, used a defibrillator and revived him successfully.

Arney said “there are a lot of sad days in the neighborhood” when emergency response teams do what they can but more often than not the victim’s life is lost. However, there are times like this when there are exceptions.

Wesley, Shipman and Lucas all received a standing ovation from the Council and audience.

Footloose 5K a success

The Council also gave rave reviews to Park Board president Marcus Rogala and those involved in the town’s 5K and Kid’s 1K Footloose event at Lakewood Park held Saturday, June 28.

Rogala said over 600 people were in attendance for the debut event. The theme was 1980s fashion and culture with a celebration afterwards. Parking was sufficient but Rogala thanked the Arnell Chevy dealer for shuttling runners to the park.

About 330 partook in the 5K while 70 children ran the 1K. Over $6,300 was collected in sponsorships and donations, Rogala said. The parks department raised a profit of $2,400 for the parks department.

As a sign of gratitude, Rogala said he would donate $250 to each town department which helped with set up.

Rogala said he learned later that the Footloose 5K was “one of the biggest first time events in Northwest Indiana,” certainly a surprise to him. “We should expect more (people) next year,” he said.

The weather gods smiled on the run, but were not as pleasant afterwards, Rogala said, as it rained on the after party, delaying some of the bands. The parks department will be better prepared next year, he said.

“Next year’s slogan is ‘tents, tents, tents,’” said Rogala.

Council president James McGee said he received “quite a few” phone calls from people who really enjoyed the event saying it was well done.

Councilman Greg Miller said he hed challenged Rogala to brainstorm ideas for fundraising and remarked Rogala) has “more than risen to the occasion.”

Scholarship winners

In another matter, scholarship committee member Phyllis Constantine announced this year’s three recipients of the town’s scholarship.

The winners were Rebecca Depew, David Jordan and Toni Biancardi. Each received $1,500.

Constantine said that may not seem much compared to college tuition costs but “it helps take the financial burden off of families.”

“When push comes to shove, it could buy them a meal ticket,” said Constantine.

Only those with a Burns Harbor mailing address are eligible for the scholarships.

Police, Fire

Also, Heckman reported 271 incidents were responded to by BHPD last month. Fifteen accidents were reported, 25 traffic tickets issued and 59 verbal warnings were given.

Arney said the BHFD received 23 calls, with 9 hours and 13 minutes on scenes total. One hundred extra volunteer hours were recorded and trucks traveled a total of 287 miles.



Posted 7/17/2014