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Muskego police awarded officer and residents for their life saving bravery and quick thinking

Krysta Mazza receives an award for discovering a 3-year-old at the bottom of a swimming pool and calling for help last April.

Krysta Mazza receives an award for discovering a 3-year-old at the bottom of a swimming pool and calling for help last April.

May 2, 2014

Muskego — Screams could be heard from the backyard of the Muskego home but Edward Jeske barely noticed them as he desperately pumped the chest of a 3-year-old girl who had just been pulled from a swimming pool.

The tiny child was purple and blue from head to foot. Her heart had stopped. She wasn't breathing.

While Jeske did CPR chest compressions, his wife Breeanna performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

"I was praying the entire time," said Breeanna. "Everybody was screaming and crying." The pool party where they were guests had turned terrifying. The girl they were desperately trying to save was the daughter of the hostess, a dear friend of Breeanna.

A 10-year-old party guest Krysta Mazza discovered the 3-year-old at the bottom of the pool and screamed for help.

Miraculously, Ed Jeske detected a faint pulse returning. Just as an ambulance arrived, they saw little Meelah's eyelids flutter.

"I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing she would pull through," Ed Jeske said. A year later, Meelah is fine with no trace of brain damage.

That was only one story of heroism told last week as the Muskego Police Department honored citizens and its own officers who had performed outstanding and even lifesaving service in the past year.

The Jeskes and Krysta all received Citizen Lifesaving Awards at the ceremony.

Another story involved three Muskego police officers who responded to a domestic violence call at a Muskego home. They soon became aware that the man in the dispute was armed and that he had vowed to shoot any officer who came through the door.

The terrified woman in the dispute had taken refuge by locking herself in the bathroom. But soon the man started trying to force his way in.

The three officers reacted quickly. They entered the home and the gave up trying to get at the woman and ran into another room. Eventually he surrendered.

The three officers, Kevin Raiche, David Adamczyk and Sergeant Steven Johannik received the department's Medal of Honor.

Also that night, Muskego's Citizen Medal of Valor was awarded to quick-thinking Cindy Migas who grabbed the steering wheel of a truck that was out of control and could have hit road construction workers. While Migas, a flag worker with the construction crew, was directing traffic on Janesville Road last June, she saw the truck veer toward her and the driver appeared to be unconscious.

While the truck was moving, Migas reached in trying to put it into park but couldn't reach the gear shift lever. She then grabbed the wheel and steered the vehicle away from her fellow workers and from oncoming traffic, taking it onto the gravel shoulder and across a grassy area where it stopped. She called 911 for the driver.

The driver wasn't breathing and had no pulse when Muskego Police Officers Erin Cortese and Todd Nelson reached the scene. Cortese provided air to him using a bag mask while Nelson did CPR chest compressions.

Four days later, the driver was still in the hospital but was walking and appeared to have sustained no permanent injuries.

The nomination recommending them for Lifesaving Awards said.

Three other Citizen Lifesaving Awards were bestowed last week. Two went to the father and son team of John Steffens and his son, Cole, who was 6 last March when his 1-year-old sister, Bailey, choked on a pretzel.

Bailey had stopped breathing. While her dad was trying to dislodge the obstruction, Cole called 911, giving directions on how to reach the home and let emergency personnel into the house.

Meanwhile, John Steffens, said he did what he saw rescuers do on television to help choking victims. He turned the unconscious Bailey over on his forearm and struck her on the back. The pretzel came out.

The third Citizen Lifesaving Award went to Joan Rogala whose husband was seriously injured after jumping into their swimming pool last July. He was floating face down in the pool when Joan jumped in, flipped him over and held his head above water.

Neighbor Luke Lensing who also received a Certificate of Appreciation, called 911. He stayed at the pool, keeping the children calm and immediately helped out when the first officer on the scene asked him to get into the pool and help Joan Rogala hold her husband's legs up while the officer stabilized the victim's head.

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