Firefighters stand at attention before Jim Prellwitz’s fire helmet, jacket and boots.
Firefighters stand at attention before Jim Prellwitz’s fire helmet, jacket and boots.

   For a third of a century, Jim Prellwitz literally took care of the people of Ripon.

   Two days after he turned 18, the 1984 Ripon High School graduate got his pager so he could join the ambulance crew.

   He rose through the ranks to become assistant chief of Ripon’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) department and was an engineer in charge of the aerial ladder truck with the Ripon Area Fire District.

   But on Dec. 16, the man who cared for so many died at age 51.

   On Dec. 22, Ripon firefighters, EMS personnel, police, friends, co-workers and family members said goodbye to Prellwitz as a cortege of about a dozen emergency vehicles wound its way through the city.

   The motorcade started at Butzin-Marchant Funeral Home and then stopped by the fire station, where Jim’s fire hat and jacket were picked up.

Read the full story and see more photos in the Jan. 4, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.