ARLINGTON – Interim Fire Chief Dave Kraski recognized Good Samaritans and Arlington fire personnel with the Phoenix Award for 2017 life-saving measures at the March 19 City Council meeting.
On Sept. 5, the day before school was to start, 16-year-old Molly Lang was swimming in the Stillaguamish River at the Lincoln Bridge with friends, when they lost sight of her when she went under and didn’t resurface. She was rescued by her sister from the bottom. Arlington fire personnel initiated lifesaving efforts including swimming to the other side of the river and floating the patient back across on a plastic spine board. She was taken to the hospital, and Lang spent weeks in critical condition in the intensive care unit. She has fully recovered and is continuing her studies in high school. Kraski honored Capt. Scott Hillis, firefighter/paramedics Steve Daggett, Gregg Haddick and Andrew Shannon, and firefighter/EMT Al Chamberlin.
Kraski said statistically, about 1,500 children drown in the U.S. each year, drowning is second leading cause of injury-related deaths in children up to 14 years, and for every childre who dies from drowning, another four receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
“Molly truly beat the odds,” Kraski said.
On Nov. 19, a member of the kitchen staff at the Buzz Inn restaurant suffered a cardiac arrest. Co-workers and a patron of the restaurant initiated CPR until first-responders arrived. The patient has made a full recovery.
Kraski honored Buzz Inn co-workers Kyle McReynolds, Jerry Larson, Meade Gould and restaurant patron Dani Crain, along with Arlington fire Capt. Phil Knepper, firefighter/paramedics Shannon, Chris Dickison and Paul Hunsaker, and firefighter/EMTs Adam von Melville and Aaron Boede. On Aug. 31, an employee at Dungeness Gear Works suffered an unwitnessed cardiac arrest. When noticed by a co-worker, 9-1–1 was activated and two co-workers initiated CPR until fire personnel arrived. The patient has made a full recovery.
Kraski honored Dungeness co-workers Larry Kappenman and Bob Fairbanks, along with firefighter/paramedics Jason Abrahamson, Bob Beam and Daggett. Also, Arlington Fire Capt. Jason Brisson was sworn in. Brisson was promoted after ranking first on the department’s promotional test. He fills the vacancy of Brandon Asher, who went to Chelan County.
Joe Wakefield was sworn in as a firefighter/EMT, filling the vacancy created by Jason Brisson’s promotion.
And, Arlington police hired its newest officer, Joshua Fox. Finally, Arlington earned the 2018 WellCity Award for its wellness programming for 2017. The city met all 40 requirements, earning a 2 percent discount on medical premiums in 2019.
The city is among 115 employers in Washington to earn the award this year, and the only city in the state to earn it each year that it has been given.