Hinckley police officer receives Life Saving Award

March 1, 2019

HINCKLEY – Hinckley Police Officer Gary Michaels said he remembers having to figure out the game plan to rescue a motorist who flipped a car and landed upside-down partially submerged in water. Oh, and it had also knocked down nearby wires during the June 12 incident.

Michaels said he doesn’t remember what caused the driver to flip over and land in the creek along East Sandwich Road in unincorporated Hinckley, but he does remember what transpired at the scene before he brought the driver to flat ground to administered CPR. The driver was taken to Valley West Hospital in Sandwich and survived.

“When I got there, there were already two or four bystanders that were in the creek that were trying to start the rescue,” Michaels said.

Michaels received a Life Saving Award on Monday for his response to the accident during the Village of Hinckley board meeting at Village Hall, 720 James St. Michaels is also a member of the Hinckley Volunteer Fire Department, and his EMT training helped in the rescue.

Michaels said he was honored to receive the award, but he said it was all in a day’s work.

“You’re just doing your job, that’s why you’re here, but it was nice to be recognized and be given that pat on back for doing a good job,” Michaels said.

Hinckley Police Chief Gregg Waitkus said he thinks Michaels went above and beyond for the rescue effort, noting that it’s not often a police officer has to administer CPR on somebody. He said Michaels’ additional qualifications as a volunteer firefighter helped provide higher levels of service for an incident such as this.

“I’m proud of the service that he gives to community and his dedication to the community,” Waitkus said.

Michaels said the bystanders who helped initiate the rescue deserve just as much recognition for their efforts. He said they also put themselves in harm’s way to help pull the driver out of the creek.

“It’s my job to respond to that, but they didn’t really have any skin in the game, so to speak,” Michaels said.