Not once, not twice, but four times during the past year, John Maertzig saved a person’s life in a high-risk situation.
For that and other courageous actions, the Bartlett police officer has been named this year’s winner of the Louis Spuhler Award for outstanding police work.
Maertzig was among 13 law enforcers nominated for the award.
“Each of the 13 nominations this year was an example of the great work that officers do throughout the county on a daily basis,” said Kane County Chiefs of Police Association Award Committee Chair David Kintz. “It is a difficult process for the Batavia Moose Lodge to only pick one winner.”
Chief David Summer, president of the Chiefs of Police Association, said all the candidates were outstanding.
“All the front-line officers are the true heroes in our profession,” he said. “They are the ones who protect us from evil as well as providing positive services for those in need.”
Acts Of Heroism
The following is a summary of the incidents for which Maertzig was recognized, taken from the nomination letter submitted by Bartlett Police Chief Patrick Ullrich:
During the past year, Officer Maertzig was recognized for saving the lives of four individuals and displaying exceptional courage during several different high-risk incidents.
On Feb. 25, Maertzig played a critical role in saving the lives of two individuals during the same 12-hour shift. He successfully revived an unresponsive male after performing CPR. Within hours of that incident, Maertzig revived an unresponsive man who had apparently overdosed on heroin by administering two doses of Narcan.
In October, Bartlett police officers were dispatched to a domestic situation involving a firearm. Maertzig volunteered to carry the ballistic shield and make contact with the husband, who was armed with a handgun. He resolved the situation peacefully, and the husband voluntarily surrendered the weapon.
In November, Maertzig was recognized for his quick thinking and actions to help coordinate the evacuation of residents during a house fire. Later that month, he revived another unresponsive man who apparently overdosed on heroin.
On Dec. 10, 2017, Officer Maertzig received Bartlett’s Unit Citation Award for his actions during an incident involving a suicidal person who was armed and barricaded inside a residence.
Maertzig made verbal contact with the individual and established a rapport with him until the Northern Illinois Alarm System Emergency Response Team arrived on scene. The individual eventually surrendered and was transported to a hospital for evaluation.
Two weeks later, on Christmas Eve, Officer Maertzig and another officer were credited with performing CPR and utilizing an AED to save the life of a male who went into cardiac arrest.
About the Louis Spuhler Award
The Louis Spuhler Award is named after a retired lieutenant from the Kane County Sheriff’s Office who approached the Batavia Moose Lodge with an idea to recognize the top police officer in the county.
Spuhler passed away before he could see his idea put into action. The award was named in his honor.
This was the 41st annual event.
Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea was the keynote speaker at the April 18 event. O’Shea applauded the great work that officers do every day and spoke of the importance of taking care of the mental health of officers and several programs he has been able to implement in Rockford.
SOURCE: Kane County Chiefs of Police Association news release