Hometown Heroes: Volunteer firefighters recognized in lifesaving ice rescue

ENSIGN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJMN) – This winter has seen a number of ice rescues across the Upper Peninsula, and two Delta County men helped make one of those rescue missions a happy ending.

“We got paged early morning hours, 7:30 a.m., roughly for a subject through the ice on a four wheeler,” said Craig Lancour, Ensign Township Fire Department. “The subject was floating on an ice floe.”

“I’d say it felt like it was pretty textbook, just like the trainings when we went out there,” said Brad Milligan. “We had just trained not too long before the call actually.”

Hometown Heroes: Dispatcher helps baby make grand entrance into the world

Lancour and Milligan are describing a call they were sent to last month in Little Bay de Noc, a mile east of the Days River.

“As soon as we got out there, he was floating on that ice floe and Craig went out there with it’s like a pool noodle with a piece of webbing in it, almost like a life ring,” said Milligan “Put it around him and secured the rope to it. I pulled him up against the ice and just held him there until Craig got out. Then we both pulled them out and threw him in the basket.”

Being volunteers, these men are selflessly sacrificing to save lives. The Delta County Sheriff’s Office recognizes that by recently awarding them with the ‘Lifesaving Award.’

“It’s very nice to recognize people that have done something extraordinary, especially when it’s our local volunteers,” said Sgt. Steve Kositzky, Delta County Sheriff’s Office.

“Well, I guess I mean, it means a lot, right? We put in a lot of time,” said Lancour. “We train lots. It’s nice to be able to put your training to use and help somebody at their time of need.”

Hometown Heroes: Ice climbers use unique skills for good

“It’s cool to get recognized,” said Milligan. “Get some some positive press out of it, but at the same time, anybody else, if anybody else on the team was in that situation, it would have been the same outcome.”

While the two are very humble about receiving the award, it’s a good reminder that no ice is safe ice. This man was able to walk away, but some are not in these situations.

“He was super thankful,” said Sgt. Kositzky. “I mean, obviously, he just, you know, kind of made a mistake and ended up in an area that he didn’t think he was in. But like I say, at the end of the day, he was so thankful that that these guys did what they did.”

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WJMN - UPMatters.com.