By Brandi Makuski
Assemblywoman Katrina Shankland (Stevens Point) has been recognized for her work on behalf of first responders.
Shankland was at the Portage County EMS Association annual banquet on Oct. 25, where she was treated to dinner with area first responders. She was presented with the President’s Award in recognition of her bipartisan efforts to introduce and pass the 2021 Wisconsin Act 115 into law.
Portage County EMS Association President Doug Curwen, from the Almond Fire Department, presented Shankland with the plaque.
“This idea was brought up by some of the Amherst EMS members and a few others,” Curwen said. “But boy, she ran with it and got it passed into law.”
Act 115 was signed into law in December. Several local fire chiefs were invited to the state capital to testify on the dangers of responding to roadside accidents prior to its passage.
The law strengthens penalties for anyone who injures or kills a first responder or roadside worker in a work, construction, or emergency zone. The law also acts as a public education resource, and doubled the fines for reckless or distracted driving and speeding in a construction or emergency zone.
“You’ve probably all seen that at some point,” Shankland told the group. “I know we have more work to do but I’m excited about this first step.”