From left, Macomb County EMS Medical Control Authority Medical Director Antonio Bonfiglio stands with Shelby Township firefighters Lt. Terry Elsey, Tim Kempinski, Darin Geyer and Robert Muylaert after they received their awards.

From left, Macomb County EMS Medical Control Authority Medical Director Antonio Bonfiglio stands with Shelby Township firefighters Lt. Terry Elsey, Tim Kempinski, Darin Geyer and Robert Muylaert after they received their awards.

Photo by Donna Agusti


Shelby Township firefighters recognized for work in standoff situation

By: Joshua Gordon | Shelby - Utica News | Published June 25, 2018

Advertisement

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Four members of the Shelby Township Fire Department were recognized for their work during a tense and critical situation involving a man’s standoff with police that took place in April.

The Macomb County EMS Medical Control Authority recognized the Shelby Township firefighters, along with a few Utica fire and police personnel, during a ceremony June 15 at the authority’s office, 19176 Hall Road, Suite 120, in Clinton Township.

Shelby Township firefighter paramedics Darin Geyer, Tim Kempinski and Robert Muylaert, along with Lt. Terry Elsey, were recognized during the event. Beaumont Hospital in Troy recommended the firefighters to the authority, which oversees emergency medical services in Macomb County.

On April 26, the Shelby Township Police Department responded to a call from a woman who said that her boyfriend had fired a shot inside their home in the 53000 block of Providence Drive. The woman said the man then put the gun in his mouth.

After a standoff, the man reportedly told police that he was coming out and intended to “do harm” to the officers. He exited the home, engaged the officers, and was shot by police and rendered unconscious, according to police.

Police Chief Robert Shelide said after the event that the man did fire his gun after exiting his home. The man was shot less than 10 times, but more than five, and that is when the paramedics came in.

Shelby Township Fire Chief Jim Swinkowski said his men did immediate trauma treatment, including clearing the man’s airway, and some advanced treatment that they don’t always get a chance to perform.

“They did things we are trained for but don’t do often,” Swinkowski said. “They got his heart going until he got to the hospital, where he eventually passed. The guys did an outstanding job to keep him alive.”

The man was in critical condition when he was transported to the hospital, but he did die. Swinkowski and Luke Bowen, the operations manager with the Medical Control Authority, said the work done by the paramedics kept the man’s organs vital and they were able to be used for transplants.

“Their aggressive treatment of the patient, although he did expire, allowed him to donate his organs,” Bowen said. “The hospital brought this to us because they said the paramedics did an exceptional job.”

Swinkowski said the department is fortunate to have highly trained firefighters and paramedics. It is hard to know what the environment of a situation will be like, but Swinkowski said the team handled everything properly.

“Obviously, our first and foremost goal is to keep the patient alive and do what we can,” he said. “In that situation, it was a high-pressure situation, and they handled the pressure and went in and did their job. When it was their turn, they were quick and efficient and concentrated on the patient and pulled out every stop they had been taught to get him to the hospital.”

Advertisement