Morrison County deputies honored for lifesaving work

Deputies James Paschelke, Rick Mattison and Scott Mackissock responded to a missing person’s report on Fish Trap Lake, July 20. They performed CPR on Todd Plohasz, who was believed to have suffered a heart attack while swimming. Sheriff Michel Wetzel presented awards recognizing their efforts at a Morrison County Board meeting, Dec. 6. Pictured are (from left): Mattison, Wetzel and Mackissock.

Man pulled from Fish Trap Lake given CPR

By Jennie ZeitlerStaff Writer


Morrison County Deputies James Paschelke, Rick Mattison and Scott Mackissock were recognized by Sheriff Michel Wetzel at the Morrison County Commissioners meeting, Dec. 6.

Deputy Paschelke was first on the scene to a missing person report at Fishtrap Lake. He stated in his report that Todd Plohasz and his wife, Mary, were swimming when their pontoon started floating away. Plohasz tried swimming after it when his wife believed he may have had a heart attack. His wife kept his head above water while calling to shore for help.

“We got the call of a person missing in a lake, and Deputy Paschelke radioed in that he was being brought to shore,” said Deputy Mackissock. “We were all on the scene within a few minutes and started CPR. We were able to bring back a pulse on the gentleman.”

Once the helicopter landed, Plohasz was airlifted out.

“If it hadn’t been for the bystanders — lake residents from a couple of doors down — he would have definitely drowned,” Mackissock said. “They got him out of the water.”

“Our deputies work hard every day to serve and protect the people of Morrison County. The fact that these gentlemen went above and beyond to save someone’s life doesn’t surprise me. It’s wonderful to see them recognized for the effort,” said County Administrator Deb Gruber.

Sheriff Michel Wetzel said, “I couldn’t be prouder of the efforts of my deputies, the three civilians involved and all the members of Emergency Medical System whose combined efforts were directly responsible for saving a man’s life. Training, commitment and determination were all on display that day, allowing this man a second chance at life.”

“It’s a good feeling, knowing what we were able to do for him,” said Mackissock. “We’re not out there for a reward, but it’s the good part of our job to be part of something like this.”