Marienau honored for lifesaving measures

Wednesday, August 9, 2017
(Sentinel Photo by Kim Fickett) Plymouth County Board of Supervisors Chairman Don Kass (right) congratulates Plymouth County Secondary Roads Engineer Tech Mark Marienau (left) on his heroic measures that helped save the life of a Cedar Valley Corp. employee after that employee was electrocuted at the County Road C-60 paving project site.

PLYMOUTH CO. — What was supposed to be a typical day back to work following the Fourth of July holiday, turned into just the opposite for Mark Marienau, Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department engineer tech.

Shortly after getting the day started, tragedy struck the construction site at County Road C-60 where county crews and Cedar Valley Corporate (CVC) employees were repaving the road.

After hearing commotion on the opposite side of the paver from where Marienau stood, he rushed around to find a CVC concrete finisher laying on the ground after being electrocuted.

“I could tell by the reaction of others what had happened,” Marienau said. “The pole he was using to pull and push the concrete back and forth struck a service wire going across to a farm house. The electrical current either went through his shoulders or his hands and went through his body.”

Marienau quickly came to the individual’s aid.

“Immediately I check to see if he had a pulse and put my head to his chest to see if I could hear a heartbeat. I knew he needed chest compressions right away,” Marienau said.

After doing chest compressions for awhile by himself, Marienau said another crew member joined in to offer him a break.

“We did chest compressions continuously until the ambulance arrived,” he said.

Once Kingsley Ambulance was on site they helped revive the individual and boarded him on Mercy Air Care.

“I thought this was not going to turn out the way we wanted it to turn out. As the day went on they were slowly giving news that he was conscious and the next day that he was better,” Marienau said.

Marienau accredited his actions that day to a First Aid and CPR course the county requires their staff to take every two years.

“That definitely made me step up to the situation and gave me confidence,” Marienau said. “Without that I wouldn’t have done what I did either.”

Marienau, along with members of the Kingsley Ambulance, were recognized by the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors at Tuesday’s meeting.

“What could have been a tragedy actually turned out to have an okay ending and that’s thanks to the heroes amongst us,” said Plymouth County Board of Supervisors Chairman Don Kass.

Central Valley C-60 Project Manager Jason Hankens was present at Tuesday’s meeting and acknowledged Marienau and emergency responders efforts.

“Because of the hard work they put in that day and dedication he is at home and recovering and we hope at this time he has a pretty good chance of making a full recovery. A lot of people in this room is the reason that is a possibility. I just wanted to say thank you,” Hankens said.

In a letter sent to Plymouth County Secondary Roads Engineer Tom Rohe, Cedar Valley officials applauded Marienau’s efforts.

“All of Cedar Valley Corp., LLC would like to thank Plymouth County employee Mark Marienau for his very timely and capable assistance that was instrumental in saving one of our employee’s life that had been electrocuted at our C-60 paving project on July 5.

“Mr. Marienau’s immediate actions, with assistance from several CVC employees, made a difference that will have a lifelong impact on a young family. We cannot properly put into words our thanks to Mr. Marienau.

“Mr. Marienau, his family and Plymouth County, have a great deal to be proud of concerning Mark’s training, performance and bearing during a true moment of crisis.”

For Marienau his actions that day was just something one does.

“I don’t feel any different. I’m just glad it turned out the way it did. I don’t feel special or anything like that,” he said. “I just stress the importance of taking life saving classes like that. It’s definitely worth it. It’s one day a year and it doesn’t take hardly anything to go through it. If you never have to use it you’re lucky that you never have to use it. But the one in a million chance it comes up, you’re blessed to have that experience.”

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