Spotlight on Leah Harms, Behavioral Health Clinician & Physical Wellness Coordinator

Leah Harms has been a member of the First Responders Support Team (FRST) since 2019 when she attended training for therapists who were interested in working with first responders. Growing up with a father who served as a firefighter in Lincoln, she says that the first-responder culture is something that has always been familiar to her, and it is a niche that has interested her professionally for a long time. Leah is also the fiancé of a Council Bluffs, IA firefighter.

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Deputy Tony Ramaeker – Scheels Home Town Hero

Congratulations to Deputy Tony Ramaeker! Scheels and American Heroes Outdoors have teamed up to capture and share stories of real heroes living in local communities. Officer Tony Ramaeker is a first responder at the Douglas County Sheriffs Office and is a local metro area hero. The First Responders Foundation is proud to announce that Deputy Ramaeker was recently named a Scheels Home Town Hero and was honored at the Scheels store at Village Pointe in Omaha on March 31st.

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New Board Treasurer, Mike Corrigan

The First Responders Foundation welcomes Mike Corrigan, to the Board of Directors, as the new treasurer of the board. Mike is the VP Commercial Relationship Manager with Access Bank. Mike has been with Access for five years and works with new and existing commercial businesses. The Foundation has been banking with Access for more than a year and finds them extremely helpful and engaging. The Foundation is pleased to have Mike’s expertise on the board and looks forward to working with him for more than one reason. Mike is uniquely qualified for this position because not only does he bring financial expertise to the board, he is also a first responder.

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Awards of Excellence Recipients Connor and Tony Rinn

Meet Awards of Excellence winners, Connor and Tony Rinn.  These brothers are students at Midland University in Fremont, NE.  Tony is pursuing a degree in Secondary Education and Connor is majoring in Criminal Justice

The Awards of Excellence are given to high school seniors who demonstrate good character, balanced achievement, and outstanding commitment to the community.  These students are also children of local first responders.  The Rinn brothers’ father, Bill Rinn is a Captain with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

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Hannah and the Tri-County Fire Corps

Hello, my name is Hannah.  I am currently enrolled at Metro Community College working towards a Fire Science degree.

About two years ago I took a career academy through MCC for Fire Science.  During the academy I learned about the Tri-County Fire Explorers program.  My instructors at MCC told me being involved in the program was a great opportunity.  At that time I did not know for sure if I wanted to be a firefighter.  I knew the program would allow me to get my foot in the door and I knew I would learn a lot.
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Suz and Ginger

“Ginger gave me my life back” was how Suz explained her relationship with her service dog.

Suz knew that something had to change.  She was not doing activities that she loved.  She was not enjoying life.  And then came to Ginger!

Suz joined the Navy after college.  She started with the reserves, and then joined the Navy and attended Bootcamp in Orlando, FL.  She was stationed in San Diego, CA.  One night while she was on duty she was bitten by a black widow.  Unfortunately, the bite was misdiagnosed and treated as a cactus prick, and the venom from the black widow went through her system.

Suz spent two years in the hospital, had twelve surgeries, and multiple times doctors thought they would have to take her leg.  Fortunately, her leg was saved.  She still gets steroid shots and has residual pain but she has full use of her leg.

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Honoring A Hero

Congratulations to Ken Kanger our most recent inductee into the National Society of St. Florian and St. Michael.

Today we honor Deputy Chief Ken Kanger. Deputy Chief Ken Kanger began his work with the Omaha Police Department in 1997 as a Police Officer. He has worked in the Uniform Patrol Bureau in the Northwest and Northeast Precincts, as well as the Criminal Investigations Bureau in the Special Victims Unit, Homicide Unit and Narcotics Unit.

He was promoted to Sergeant in 2007 and assigned as a supervisor in the Northeast Precinct of the Uniform Patrol Bureau, and then was assigned to the Homicide Unit of the Criminal Investigations Bureau.  He was promoted to Lieutenant in 2010 and assigned to the Crime Analysis Unit. In 2012, he was assigned to the Gang Unit where he saw the opportunity to work with youth through intervention and prevention to keep kids from becoming involved in criminal activity or becoming victims of violence.

He was promoted to Captain in 2017 and was assigned to command the Special Operations Section of the Criminal Investigations Bureau, which includes both the Gang and Narcotics Units. He now serves in the role of Deputy Chief, overseeing the entire Criminal Investigations Bureau.

Deputy Chief Kanger sees the potential in the youth of our community. He strongly believes in the message set by Inky Johnson, a former college football player who was injured and turned his injury into motivation for himself and others. Johnson tells people to “empty the bucket”, to give everything you’ve got. You can see Deputy Chief Kanger spreading this message in our community.

Deputy Chief Kanger serves our community on the baseball field as a volunteer coach for PACE (Police Athletics for Community Engagement).  He strives to give our youth an outlet for success through positive interactions and activities.  He has helped establish and participates in a growing initiative called Operation NETS (Neighborhood Engagement Through Sports) which replaces torn neighborhood basketball nets with new ones and provides new sports equipment to at risk youth.  He is also a coach through Operation NETS.  It is reported he builds relationships with kids and the community.  He truly cares for people and his actions speak volumes.  Just spend a few minutes with Deputy Chief Kanger and you will see it for yourself.

Deputy Chief Kanger received the Metropolitan Chief’s Association Leadership Award and the Kerrie Orozco Award for Community Service in 2017. He was the Crime Stoppers Jack Swanson – Lloyd Grimm Officer of the Year in 2003.  He’s also involved with Gesu Housing, Abide, Coalition RX and he is a consistent presence at Omaha 360.

Deputy Chief Kanger was nominated by a kind citizen who wanted to see him recognized for his commitment to public safety and bettering the community.

Deputy Chief Kanger subscribes to one motto, “Life has no remote. Get up and change it yourself”.

We thank Deputy Chief Kanger for his dedicated service to the city of Omaha and for making a difference in the lives of so many in our community.  Again, congratulations Ken!

Nominate your hero to receive this outstanding recognition. Nominees receive a Personalized Certificate and a two-sided Saint Florian and Saint Michael Challenge Coin in a showcase box. Click here to learn more.

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