Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Retired firefighter and his family hope to start a first-responders retreat in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 08/11/2017
Katie Leszcynski
Katie Leszcynski
Sports Reporter/Anchor
kleszcynski@wjfw.com

Retired firefighter and his family hope to start a first-responders retreat in the Northwoods
MINOCQUA - Seeing fire, death, and destruction over and over can stay with you for a long time.

Sometimes, those images and feelings never go away. 

Joe Batholomew can't forget one of the worst fires he saw over his 33 years as a firefighter in Illinois. 

"The fire was on top of us and I told my guys that it was time for us to get out," said Bartholomew.

He made it out physically okay, but he started feeling off after that day in 2004.

"They said it was natural, so I blew it off and said, 'Okay' and thought there was no problem," Bartholomew said.


But there was a problem. Bartholomew kept having mood swings, anger issues and nightmares.

"We were in a car wash and when the soap came and covered the windows, all of a sudden, his arms stiffened like two-by-fours, and I looked over and I asked him what was wrong and again, all of a sudden, he said he thought he went back to that fire," said Joe's wife, Liz.

Joe was eventually diagnosed with PTSD.

The Bartholomews know they aren't the only family dealing with PTSD. After moving to Sugar Camp in 2012, they decided to start a first-responders' retreat in Minocqua so that anyone dealing with PTSD can come find help.

"When we moved up here and I saw how Joe was healing, I thought, 'Boy, we should be able to offer that to other people," Liz said.

They have a property in mind where they hope to build the retreat, and now they need help with donations.

Joe says that getting out of a big city where there are more noises, sights, and smells that can trigger his PTSD helped him, and he thinks it can help others.

"The biggest thing is being able to talk to people who have been through the same things you have. To know you're not alone," said Joe.

The Bartholomews started a non-profit and hope to start the first-responders' retreat as soon as possible. If you would like to help them with donations and learn more about the retreat, follow the link below.


Related Weblinks:
First Responders Retreat

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Oneida County Circuit Judge Michael Bloom apparently didn't appreciate a standoff suspect's letter to him.

Mathew Smith, 21, wrote Bloom requesting a speedy trial, saying he "will not stand for this."

+ Read More

MADISON - A drug distributor from California hoped to flood northern Wisconsin with meth to create more addicts.  Now, Marcos Castaneda faces life in federal prison.

Castaneda, 37, pleaded guilty in federal court in Madison for providing nearly $6 million of meth between 2013 and 2016.

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - Earlier this month, the Minocqua Fire Department celebrated the opening of its new fire station. 

Now, thanks to a Northwoods couple, the fire department has yet another thing to celebrate. 

+ Read More

Play Video

CRANDON - Alyssa Samz spends her days washing, blow drying, and trimming the fur on dogs, and she couldn't be happier.

"It's fun. I love to be able to do something I enjoy every day," said Samz.

Samz spent the last year working for a groomer in Argonne, but now she's decided to branch out on her own.

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - Snowmobilers in Vilas County can get ready to ride.

Most trails in Vilas County will be opening at 5:00 p.m. Friday.

Vilas County Recreation Administrator Dale Mayo says the exception is the Phelps Trail system.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Eighth-grader Alexx Huff doesn't practice half-court shots much.

At the end of basketball practice, he's usually too tired to try and make 40-footers. But Huff had plenty of energy two weeks ago, when he stepped onto the court during halftime of a varsity basketball game in Rhinelander.

"I'm really nervous, I'm really shaky," Huff said, remembering the night. "There's a lot of people watching."

Huff was randomly selected to take part a shooting contest held during every game. The contest ends with a half-court shot.

+ Read More
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 12/15/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

The Olson Memorial Library in Eagle River held a grand RE-opening that shows patience and perseverance pays off. We talk to the Library Foundation president and vice-president as well as Governor Scott Walker who attended the event.

We'll show you a half-court basketball shot a Rhinelander eighth-grader made that won money for him and raised money the Rhinelander Area Scholarship Foundation.

And tonight on Friday Night Blitz we'll bring you scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following basketball games:

Phelps vs. Laona Wabeno (Boys and Girls)

Rhinelander vs. Northland Pines (Boys and Girls)

Elcho vs. Crandon (Boys)


That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here