Barron County honors first responders in tornado, fatal plane cr - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Barron County honors first responders in tornado, fatal plane crash


It was in May when a deadly tornado and fatal plane crash shook the Barron County community. Rescue workers worked long difficult hours to help as many people as possible.

On Monday in Rice Lake, the selfless workers that helped the community when tragedy struck were honored. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald presented 20 lifesaver and 11 tornado awards to various individuals, utilities companies and first responders involved in aiding the community during these tragedies.

One of the the honorees is a Life Link pilot, who arrived in his helicopter to receive his award.

“It's just our job. It's what we do day to day, and it's special that I get to meet with all the other agencies and the people who were there,” said Life Link pilot Robert Spenle.

Sheriff Fitzgerald said four local men, who were out fishing, played a vital role after the plane crash in Chetek. On Monday night, they also received life saver awards. At the ceremony, the sheriff proclaimed each May in Barron County to be 'First Responder Month'.

"We are Barron County proud. We are community that comes together when things happen, both good and bad, and I think everybody's looking for a little good, and that's what tonight was, to help families bring closure. Thank everybody for coming out, and that's  what is was tonight, it was just a thanks," Sheriff Fitzgerald said.

Community members said that they will never forget the generosity of all those who sacrifice their time to help the community, especially in a time of crisis.

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