Brave Hearts – Animal Companion


Animal Companion

Joseph Pabst


Photo credit, Front Room Photography

As a young boy, Joseph Pabst always had the loving companionship of pets; a Dachshund dog in particular was the beginning of it all. Through the many challenges that life gives, having loving companionship makes things a little more comforting.

Joseph grew up with two sisters, sadly losing one later in life. His late sister was a victim of domestic violence and this, in particular was instrumental  in his hopes of bringing awareness to the connection between pets and domestic abuse.

When incidents of violence happened, Joseph’s sister would adopt a new animal; collecting everything from farm animals and horses to house pets and dogs. These pets gave her companionship and security. Tying her deeper into staying where she was – to take care of her loved animals – despite the abusive situation. From experiences and seeing the impact animals had on his sister, Joseph saw a theory developing and went in front of Sojourner Family Peace Center and the Wisconsin Humane Society to back research, strengthening this theory. From the confidential findings, the study found that “over 70% of victims of domestic violence reported [with pets] that the abuser had threatened to hurt, injure or kill the animal.”

The theory was solidified and Joseph was prompted to start a program called Safe Haven. It wasn’t a solution to the problem, but a means to remove at least one obstacle for a short period of time in which a victim can seek shelter, knowing that their pet(s) are safe. In abusive relationships, people may rely on the constant affection of their pets, yet they stay in that situation when their pets’ lives are threatened. It’s a pattern that’s difficult to leave.

The program has found much success, being described as salvation and a way for people to move forward, allowing for another chance. At first, Joseph would have been satisfied with the program saving one person. In the last year, it has helped many people and their pets find safety, something he wishes would have been possible for his sister.

Nothing can change the past, but we can change the future…to me, the primary hero is my sister who had an extraordinary capacity to love.”

You can further support the American Red Cross by attending the upcoming Brave Hearts: Heroes Among Us event on May 1st (tickets available HERE).

*Photo provided by Front Room Photography

Go Team Red Cross – 2014 Boston Marathon!

The American Red Cross has been a part of the Boston Marathon for four decades offering first aid and encouragement to athletes on the sidelines. In 2013 the Red Cross was called upon for a very different role. After two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon finish line, and the race was halted, the volunteers of the American Red Cross sprang into action supporting the recovery. We played a variety of roles: sheltering stranded runners, supporting first responders working around-the-clock, providing Disaster Mental Health workers at vigils and a call center and supporting the families of the injured and the dead.

Back in March, our chapter was lucky enough to hear a first-hand account from Team Red Cross Leader, Karen Teller. Karen is a Red Cross supporter, board member and Tiffany Circle member. A resident of Boston, Karen is an experienced distance runner and has completed seven Boston Marathons – including the 2012 race as captain of Team Red Cross, an official charity running group at the Boston Marathon that raises money to support Red Cross programs and services. Last year, as a spectator, Karen was in the stands just across from where the first bomb exploded. In the days, weeks and months following the horrific events that unfolded that day – Karen never felt more of a connection to the mission of the American Red Cross.

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Karen Teller speaks about her experience at the 2013 Boston Marathon and her relationship with the American Red Cross.

The American Red Cross will have a strong presence at this year’s 118th Marathon today with:

  • 400 EMT- level volunteers will staff medical stations along the Boston Marathon route.
  • 22 of the 26 Medical Stations along the course will be run by our volunteers.
  • 40 disaster mental health volunteers will be available.

Today, we are all cheering on Karen, Team Red Cross & all of Boston as they show the world their resilient spirit and patriotic determination. GO TEAM RED CROSS!

To learn more about our 2013 Boston Marathon Response or the Tiffany Circle, visit our website.

Wisconsin’s Tornado and Severe Weather Week – April 21-25

Are you ready for severe weather? A twister? Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes annually! Last year, 16 tornadoes were reported in Wisconsin by the National Weather Service, including six during the night of August 6, 2013. The strongest tornado, rated an EF2, hit near New London in Waupaca and Outagamie Counties and required a significant response for our Disaster Teams.

To help everyone refresh their tornado awareness, the National Weather Service will test our knowledge on Thursday, April 24th.

• At 1:00p.m., they will issue a mock tornado watch for the entire state. A “tornado watch” means tornadoes are possible. Residents in the watch area should remain alert for approaching storms.

• At 1:45p.m., they will issue a mock tornado warning. A “tornado warning” means that a tornado has been sighted or indicated on weather radar. Residents should move to a safe place immediately.

• The tornado drill will end at 2:00p.m.

• The National Weather Service will conduct the drill even if the sky is cloudy, dark or rainy. If actual severe storms are expected, anywhere in the state, the tornado drill will be postponed until Friday, April 25 with the same times. If severe storms are possible Friday, the drill will be cancelled.

To help refresh your memory of safest places to be, what watch & warnings mean, emergency kit items to have and even audible alerts for where you live, please download the FREE Tornado APP.

Let us know how you have prepared during the week and we will let you know the results of tornado drills, at our offices, too!

Brave Hearts – Emergency Response


Emergency Response

Deputy Sheriff Jeff Mike

Award presented by Rockwell Automation


Photo credit, Front Room Photography

Imagine receiving a 911 call from a panicked mother and having to ask “is the child breathing?” When the response is “[She’s] trying to cry right now and puking out [her] mouth and nose,” panic is prevalent.

Deputy Sheriff Jeff Mike, with the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department, happened to be filling out paperwork near the scene and found himself responding before the dispatcher finished giving details. On his way there, he was mentally preparing for the worst and walking through his action plan for when he arrived.

He pulled up to the car, which was on the exit ramp near Layton Avenue, and saw the mother standing with a limp infant in her arms. Jeff could see no movement and a dull blue color emerging on the 7-month old’s skin. The CPR mask was out before he put his squad in park and he began what he had learned in CPR training. Jeff moved to the hood of his car for easier access and continued to do CPR on the infant with chest thrusts and rescue breaths. The time seemed to drag on, but it was probably only a matter of minutes. Jeff was “in the zone” to help this infant, not even recognizing a fellow police officer approach the scene or thinking of what the outcome might be. The mother was frantic, but could recognize that Jeff was doing his job and trying to help. After what seemed like forever, the infant twitched a finger and clenched her fist and opened her eyes. She was resuscitated.

Almost instantaneously, the paramedics arrived on the scene, taking over and assisting the infant in breathing. After stepping back, the adrenaline started pumping and Jeff began to shake. His partner could recognize the shock setting in and suggested that Jeff sit down for a minute to collect himself. Jeff would soon come to terms with what had just happened. Working as a first responder, some go a full career without ever needing the skills provided and yearly re-certifications. There is a need and want to “be prepared for whatever may happen.” Jeff, getting a little teary eyed, couldn’t fathom losing one of his own children and feels that “the greatest moment that I will take away from this job is saving a 7-month old.”

You can further support the American Red Cross by attending the upcoming Brave Hearts: Heroes Among Us event on May 1st (tickets available HERE) or by taking a CPR/AED or First Aid courses to become better prepared (information HERE).

*Photo provided by Front Room Photography

Donate Blood In Honor Of Pat Baganz

Pat Baganz has undergone chemotherapy and surgery while battling ovarian cancer. “I have always assumed the people receiving my blood were victims of accidents or women in childbirth,” said Baganz, a blood donor for more than 30 years. “It didn’t occur to me that people with cancer would have surgeries that might necessitate a blood transfusion. So it came as a surprise when the nurse admitting me for my ovarian cancer surgery asked if I would accept a transfusion if necessary. Fortunately, I didn’t need one, but I am so grateful that blood donors would have made that lifesaving transfusion a possibility.”

Friday, April 18, 2014

Living Hope Lutheran Church
851 W. Dekora St.
Saukville, WI 53080
12PM – 5PM

Donors of all blood types are needed, especially those with O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative. Type AB blood, which contains the universal plasma type, is also needed – a type possessed by a mere 4 percent of the U.S. population. The Red Cross must collect 15,000 pints of blood every day to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country, including 46 in Wisconsin. And red blood cells have a shelf life of only 42 days and platelets just five days, so they have to be constantly replenished.

To make a blood donation appointment, please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit Walk-ins are also welcome. For more information about the blood drive, please contact Baganz at 262-353-6555 or

How to donate blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Brave Hearts – Youth



Nick and Alex Stanisic, Alex Wimmer & Sage Schram

Award presented by State Farm


Photo credit, Front Room Photography

Nick and Alex Stanisic, Alex Wimmer and Sage Schram all grew up together. Now, at the age of 17, they attend Wauwatosa West High School. Having played soccer since before they could remember, driving together to a home game against Pius XI was a regular occurrence.

As Nick, Alex and Sage turned down “Wimmer’s” street, to pick him up, they saw a woman lying next to a vehicle. Immediately, they jumped out of the car, acting on their own gut instincts. The woman’s son was in the back, buckled into his car seat and was very upset. Alex went to check on the woman’s condition, noting that her eyelids were fluttering and she was breathing. Nick ran up the street to get Wimmer and his parents, hoping that they knew who the woman was. Sage called 911, calmly explaining that there was a woman unconscious and then going to comfort her son. Working back and forth, the four continued checking conditions, calming the son and trying to find someone to help.

Nicole Kastner had picked up her 4-year old son from the babysitter, a neighbor on the street. While putting him in the car, she fell in the middle of the road, convulsing. No one was around, while she lay in danger. Her son had never seen Nicole have a seizure and only being 4, was unable to help. After the police and paramedics got to the scene, the boys left, running late for their game.

On the way to the game, the boys called their coach to inform him that they all would be late, not giving any explanation. Wauwatosa West went on to beat Pius XI that night, no one knowing why Nick, Alex, Alex W. and Sage had arrived late. Nicole, her husband and their babysitter were grateful to the boys, wanting to directly meet and thank them. It wasn’t until they went in search of the boys to thank them, that anyone knew what had happened. A face-to-face meeting was arranged and Nicole was able to personally thank the boys.

There are not many people out there who would have done that for a complete stranger,” Nicole said. “They are my angels.”

When asked what made them stop that day, rather than getting to the game on time, all of the boys paused to look at each other and all said at once “our parents.” Looking back, they realized the difference that they made, “more people in this world need to not be selfish…it’s the principles that we have grown up with and learned over the years while growing up together.”

You can further support the American Red Cross by attending the upcoming Brave Hearts: Heroes Among Us event on May 1st (tickets available HERE) or by taking a CPR/AED or First Aid courses to become better prepared (information HERE).

*Photo provided by Front Room Photography

Introducing Kyle Roeder, Disaster Program Manager!

Please join us in welcoming Kyle Roeder our new Disaster Program Manager! Basically, that means he coordinates the Red Cross disaster services in Racine, Kenosha, Walworth, Waukesha and Milwaukee counties – which includes mentoring our Disaster Action Team through the initial response to opening/closing a shelter to helping victims with a recovery plan.  The old adage of going from the “fire pan to the fryer” maybe applicable in his case as previous experience has been with the Union Grove-Yorkville Fire Department and Racine County Emergency Management, as well as working as a Fire Instructor/Post Advisor for the Fire Explorer Post 400.

He is also pursuing a Fire Science degree at Gateway Technical School!  That knowledge, will not only be put to good use here at the Red Cross but also during his time as an on-Call firefighter/EMT for the Town of Raymond.

Obviously, he has a real appreciation for fire departments, police officers and emergency management but most of all he is excited to be working with our outstanding volunteers!  Since we just finished our busiest fire season of the year truly appreciates Red Cross services even more.

“As a fire fighter, once the fire is out, we drove away. But the Red Cross stands beside the family – sometimes for a very long-time.  It’s this side of humanity and compassion which appeals to our volunteers and my goal will be to enable more volunteers to find their passion in the Red Cross!”

Please stop by to meet Kyle on the second floor of our Milwaukee office or shoot him an email at He looks forward to working with our entire disaster team, and you will see him on-scene at many of the greater Milwaukee area fires!

Please stop by to meet Kyle on the second floor of our Milwaukee office or shoot him an email at He looks forward to working with our entire disaster team, and you will see him on-scene at many of the greater Milwaukee area fires!



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