EMS awarded for their service

The Marquette and Alger County Medical Control Authority gathered members of the EMS community tonight to celebrate National EMS Week.

It was a special night dedicated to the men and women who serve the community around the clock, helping in the most dangerous of situations.

The EMT of the Year Award was given to Jeff Kontio, a man who wears many hats. He’s the Fire Chief of Negaunee Township Fire/EMS, an EMT for Bell Hospital EMS, and a member of the Negaunee County Sheriff’s Department Rescue Team.

“It’s a great honor, I never expected it. I do it just as a hobby. I do it because I like doing it. I don’t do it for the acknowledgement or any of this kind of stuff. I enjoy what I do,” remarked Kontio

Last November, a production vehicle from the Empire and Tilden Mines ran over a pick up truck. The ensuing fire would have taken one man’s life, but fortunately Kevin Brouillette and Tim Poirer, who work at the mine, put out the fire in time. Both men were honored with the Stars of Life Award.

The EMS Service of the Year was awarded to the Marquette Fire Department for the swift rescue of two men stranded on an ice floe on Lake Superior, despite the frigid and dangerous conditions.

“EMS people, they’re a different breed. They say, ‘We go in where other people are coming out.’ We’re a very tight knit group. We all work together well. We work with each other and for each other, no matter what the situation is. That’s what I like about it the most,” Kontio added.