Marratt’s mission merits mega EMT accolade

Volunteer deflects credit for receiving statewide award to colleagues at Saukville Fire Department
Ozaukee Press staff

From Air Force Logistics Officer to youth soccer coach to Saukville Fire Department emergency medical technician, service is no stranger to Vanessa Marratt.

Her dedication was recognized on July 16 with the Wisconsin American Legion’s EMT of the Year Award. Each year the legion contacts local fire departments for recommendations, putting Marratt in consideration with EMTs across Wisconsin.

“We all agreed she’d make a great candidate,” Saukville Fire Chief Bill Rice said.

Marratt, who joined the fire department nearly four years ago with a push from friend and firefighter Amanda Goetz, never thought she’d receive the award.

“My honest reaction was I must have run unopposed,” Marratt said. “There’s no way I can be one of the best in the state.”

Rice said Marratt’s ability to adapt, balance responsibilities and positive attitude make her not only perfect for this award, but well liked at the station. Marratt, on the other hand, blames her colleagues for her award, saying they make her look good.

“I’m surrounded by great people,” she said. “I’m not sure if it’s being good or just being around people who help you flourish.”

Responding to calls can be difficult as seeing neighbors experience tragedy isn’t easy. But, Marratt is glad she has colleagues that help her through friendly banter and laughs. However, these calls make her remember why she serves — to help the Saukville community she dearly loves.

“I grew up in California and bounced around with the military,” Marratt said. “Eventually, I fell in love with our wonky little small town (of Saukville).”

A mother of two, Marratt likes serving the community. The people she helps aren’t complete strangers, they’re people she sees at the school or in passing at the store, she said.

Every morning Marratt drops her kids off at Saukville Elementary alongside parents, siblings and grandparents doing the same. She distinctly remembers one call.

“It just so happened to be a grandmother I see dropping her grandson off at school in the mornings,” Marratt said. “And she just said, ‘Didn’t I see you earlier?’”

Marratt’s love for service began in the Air Force as a logistics officer, ensuring everyone had necessary supplies.

“We made sure everyone had their supplies,” Marratt said. “We liked to call it the three B’s — bullets, band-aids and beans.”

While this took her to Japan, Afghanistan and South Korea, keeping a local sense of volunteerism alive remains a priority.

Alongside being a parent and EMT, Marratt is in the parent-teacher association and a volunteer soccer coach. Her ability to juggle those roles continues to impress Rice.

Marratt is thankful the department’s flexible on-call scheduling options allow her to wear different hats within the community.

“I like making sure I can be there for my family and challenge myself with the department,” she said.

However, challenging herself isn’t the only reason she serves. She hopes to teach her kids the importance of volunteering.

“I want them to know the value of giving time,” she said. “(Kids need to know) they wouldn’t have a (soccer) team without a volunteer. That volunteers make things available for people in the community.”

Rice said Marratt’s not only a role model for her kids but also the station.
“It’s all the small things,” Rice said. “The inconveniences she never complained about. By adapting to these changes, she set an example.”

Those include increased collaboration with the Grafton Fire Department alongside new training and call response procedures.

Her service has been a cycle of benefits. From valued friendships and pushing herself to the community experiencing improved emergency response, everyone gains from her humble service.

“There’s no way one person can do it all,” she said.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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Port Washington, WI 53074
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