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MPD officer recognized

Marquette Police Department Officer Ben Takala, left, receives a Life Saving Award after helping save a woman after she fell into the Carp River in February. Police Chief Blake Rieboldt is at right. (Journal photo by Jackie Jahfetson)

MARQUETTE — Two Marquette Police Department officers received recognition for their lifesaving efforts during a special presentation at Monday’s Marquette City Commission meeting at City Hall.

Officers Ben Takala and Mark Hanes were rewarded Life Saving Awards for incidents that occurred in February where lifesaving protocols had to come into play. Marquette Police Chief Blake Rieboldt presented Takala with the award; Hanes was not present during the meeting due to another assignment with the department.

On Feb. 23, Takala responded to the scene at Carp River in which a woman had fallen into the Carp River and could not get out. Upon arrival at the scene, Takala was able to locate the woman in “chest-deep water” and used a water-rescue floatation device to pull her from the water. She was hiking with her dog when she fell through an ice shelf. Takala was then able to hike the victim out of the woods to waiting EMS personnel where she made a full recovery, Rieboldt said.

“Through our accreditation process, we developed a recognition system for our officers when they go above and beyond, and so what happens is they’re nominated by their peers for a situation where they warrant lifesaving above the normal call for duty,” Rieboldt said. “… We feel, based on the circumstances, it was most likely a life-threatening situation that obviously in February due to hypothermia — if she wouldn’t have been located, it could’ve had very different results. So we’re very proud of Officer Takala, he does a great job with our department and he’s just one of the many officers in our department that makes a difference every day in this community.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the awards were delayed. But Takala noted that it feels good to receive recognition for his efforts.

“It helps a little bit, yeah. Especially with the changing times and current climate, it shows people that we’re not all bad when we’re out there. We just want to help,” Takala said.

On Feb. 10, Hanes responded to the American Legion and helped restart a man’s heart.

“Officer Hanes’ response was immediate and once on scene, he performed lifesaving procedures,” Rieboldt said. “(He) recognized that both CPR and an automated external defibrillator was needed and from the result of that, he was able to shock the subject back into a sustainable heart rhythm. Witnesses also on scene advised that without Officer Hanes’ quick action, the subject may have died.”

Both victims made full recoveries.

Jackie Jahfetson can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. Her email address is jjahfetson@miningjournal.net.

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