Good News Sunday: Wauconda firefighters brave icy conditions to rescue doe from Fox River

Good News Sunday: Wauconda firefighters brave icy conditions to rescue doe from Fox River

This is Good News Sunday, a compilation of some of the more upbeat and inspiring stories published recently by the Daily Herald:

You might associate water rescues only with people, but now and then wild animals need a professional hand, too.

That was the situation on Jan. 28 when a passerby reported a distressed animal struggling on the ice in a bend of the Fox River in Port Barrington.

Wauconda Fire District firefighters responded to find a full-size doe stuck in the river just north of Rawson Bridge, near the Broken Oar Marina Bar & Grill on Rawson Bridge Road.

She likely was trying to cross and fell through the ice about 60 feet from shore in a shallow, muddy area, said Wauconda Fire District Deputy Chief Devin Mueller.

"It was total muck on the bottom. The deer was probably so tired it couldn't pull itself out," he said.

The rescue took about 18 minutes. Once on shore, the deer was warmed with a blanket and hot packs to restore movement in her legs.

Before leaving the scene, the doe's rescuers decided to give her a name.

"They called her Jan for January," Mueller said.

For the full story, click here.

  Six-year-old William Whitney, center, poses with the Naperville Fire Department team members who helped save his life after he nearly drowned in a pool in 2021. Kevin Schmit/

Survivors of cardiac arrest, first responders honored at Naperville Fire Department banquet

Steve Kalkofen choked back tears as he detailed the experience of being brought back to life by members of the Naperville Fire Department.

He was followed, one by one, with similar stories from about a dozen others whose lives were saved in the last two years by breakthrough CPR techniques practiced by the city's first responders.

Cardiac arrest survivors and the many people responsible for saving them - firefighter-paramedics, telecommunicators, hospital workers and others - were honored at the Naperville Fire Department's second Survivors Banquet, held recently at Meson Sabika in Naperville.

"Thank you for making me be a survivor," Kalkofen said.

Since the Naperville Fire Department made a commitment to improve CPR training and techniques, survival rates for cardiac arrest incidents have improved from 9.8% in 2018 to 21% in 2021. The department reported 15 cardiac arrest survivors in 2021, compared to only six in 2018.

For the full story, click here.

  Advocate Health Care named Daniel Haslett, a registered nurse and manager of Advocate Sherman Hospital's emergency department, the inaugural Nurse Leader of the Year. Rick West/

Sherman Hospital ER manager named Advocate Health Care's Nurse Leader of the Year

When Daniel Haslett started as an emergency room nurse, he knew he was where he wanted to be.

"ER nurses, they walk into people's lives at the worst possible time for them and their family, and they immediately show care and kindness," he said. "I saw that I can go to work each day and do something good and be proud of it."

More than 15 years into his career, Haslett is now the clinical nurse manager for the emergency department and trauma services at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin. He also has been named the hospital chain's first Nurse Leader of the Year.

Haslett was selected from 240 leaders nominated from across Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care's 27 hospitals in Illinois and Wisconsin.

More than 1,000 employees were eligible for the new award, which recognizes nurse leaders who demonstrate exceptional professional practice, leadership, influence and impact.

For the full story, click here.

Fremd High School sophomore Ruby Arun's Mission: MathMinds' team of mentors visited several elementary and middle schools and foster care programs within Palatine Township Elementary District 15 communities to spread awareness about STEM fields. Courtesy of Ruby Arun

Fremd student encourages girls to pursue STEM careers

Ruby Arun, a sophomore at William Fremd High School in Palatine, is expanding her mission to inspire girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

Ruby recently was recognized by the Palatine Township Elementary District 15 board after her organization, Mission: MathMinds, donated more than 2,000 books to district schools. Her donation, worth $20,000, was part of the district's STEM Awareness Campaign, which collected more than 15,000 books worth about $160,000.

This winter, Mission: MathMinds' team of mentors visited several elementary/middle schools and foster care programs within District 15 communities to spread awareness about STEM.

A first-generation Indian American, Ruby, 15, of Inverness, has a passion for mathematics and has been participating in school math teams since third grade. She started the nonprofit Mission: MathMinds to create more interest in math fields at a younger age, so more girls are keen to join STEM fields.

For the full story, click here.

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