KALKASKA — Adam Whited will wear a ribbon on his uniform with pride.
Whited, a Michigan State Police trooper with the Houghton Lake Post, received the MSP’s Bravery Award for saving a Kalkaska resident’s life during a 2019 house fire.
The Bravery Award is a statewide honor that’s given to officers who knowingly perform an act in the line of duty that endangers or exposes them to serious injury, and when, because of the nature of the action, a life may be saved, a serious crime prevented, or a person arrested who has committed a serious crime.
The last person to be given the award in the Houghton Lake post was Trooper Steven O’Dell in a act regarding an officer-involved shooting.
“I was very honored to be nominated for it,” Whited said. “It will definitely be worn on my uniform with pride.”
On Oct. 2, 2019, Whited recalled taking a call from dispatch for a structure fire. He was not a firefighter, but he was close by and arrived at the scene the third to respond. Firefighters Kevin and Kyle Jenkins from the Kalkaska Township Fire Department were already there.
Neighbors informed the three that somebody might be inside. Turns out, Whited found Denise Schroeter, then-62, unconscious in the kitchen of a smoke-filled house.
“We made several loud announcements to see if we could get anybody to come out. When we didn’t get any answers, we went inside,” Whited said. “We had to crawl under the smoke on our hands and knees. We went into the living room and into the kitchen and ended up finding the lady there.”
Whited pulled Schroeter out of the house and EMS workers arrived at the scene who revived the woman. Schroeter, Whited, Kevin and Kyle were treated at area hospitals for smoke inhalation. Witnesses at the scene said Schroeter would have likely died if not for Whited’s actions.
Whited said it’s not atypical for the state police to respond to a structure fire.
That’s because, especially in rural areas of northern Michigan, many firefighters are volunteers who might have other jobs that would make it difficult to respond quickly.
Capt. Christopher Stolicker, Seventh District Commander, presented Whited with the award Tuesday.
Firefighters Kevin and Kyle Jenkins received the MSP’s Distinguished Citizen Award in September.