Brooklyn EMT, Oregon firefighter named public service members of the year

Brooklyn EMT Justin Wicik, left, receives an outstanding public service award from Wisconsin American Legion department commander David Wischer on July 17.
Oregon firefighter David Danks, left, receives an outstanding public service award from Wisconsin American Legion department commander David Wischer on July 17.

Brooklyn EMT Justin Wicik and Oregon firefighter David Danks have received a state-level honor.

They both received Wisconsin American Legion outstanding public service awards on July 17 at a convention in Middleton.

Annually, a Firefighter of the Year and an Emergency Medical Technician of the Year are named for outstanding service in their communities, according to the Legion’s website. Wicik and Dank’s names advanced to the state level to receive the top honors after first being awarded at the local Brooklyn-Oregon American Legion Post 160 awards in April.

In April, they were both selected to continue on to the Green County level of competition, where they were both awarded again.

And after the county level, both Wicik and Danks were victorious again at the American Legion’s third district level, which incorporates seven Wisconsin counties. Their nomination information was then reviewed by the state Legion board.

At each level of the public service awards, the recipients received honorary certificates, Brooklyn-Oregon American Legion commander Rhonda Waldvogel told the Observer.

Wicik has been with Brooklyn EMS and Fire since 2000 and has served as an officer for the last 15 years, Brooklyn EMS assistant director Cory Lloyd wrote in his nomination letter.

Wicik was elected EMS director in December 2020 and participates in numerous community outreach events, Lloyd said, including Basic Aid Training programs for elementary school kids, tours for school-age kids, pancake breakfast fundraisers and handing out trick or treating bags on Halloween.

“Whenever there is an event involving EMS, you will see Justin there volunteering his time, he has truly been an outstanding asset to both the community and to Brooklyn EMS,” Lloyd wrote in the letter. “Justin has a heart of gold and always has a positive attitude. He is highly respected throughout the community and among the members of Brooklyn EMS. He has a very calming effect on people and gives great care to our patients we serve on the ambulance.”

Oregon Area Fire and EMS District chief Glenn Linzmeier wrote in his nomination letter that he’s known Danks since Danks graduated from high school in Madison.

At the time, Linzmeier was the fire chief in Blooming Grove. In 2004, Danks joined the fire department there as an intern. He received his firefighter and EMT license in Blooming Grove, Linzemier wrote.

In 2012, Danks joined the Air Force. But not long after Linzemier was hired in Oregon in 2016, he was contacted by Danks, who was considering moving to the area with his family.

Danks was hired as an on-call firefighter and EMT and has since risen in the ranks and taken on the responsibility of training officer for the district, Linzmeier said.

“As I was looking through the 38 person roster here, it is very evident I have a young man that has proven his time and tenure for the fire and EMS service,” Linzemeier wrote in the nomination letter. “David has learned how to balance home life, work at the base and time for Oregon Fire/EMS. I believe he is a true role model for many young people that are entering the Fire and EMS service today. David’s loyalty, commitment and services are proven.”

Neal Patten can be contacted at [email protected].