Rescue workers from at least three area fire departments and medical responders were called to a grain bin accident at Heartland Co-op last Thursday afternoon in Sheldon
The victim was identified as Glen Flora resident Kevin Wiemer, 57, the co-op’s manager.
Wiemer became trapped while handling a semi load at the co-op.
The Rusk County Sheriff’s Office received a call on Sept. 19 of a man trapped in a corn bin at the Sheldon Co-op in the village of Sheldon. The accident was reported at about 2:45 p.m.
Wiemer was recovered, and life saving measures were taken. He was moved to a landing zone several blocks away from the co-op, where medical crews worked to save Wiemer.
Wiemer was pronounced dead at the scene.
Wiemer, a Flambeau High School Class of 1979 graduate, was a highly decorated veteran. He served 31 years in the military with one tour in Iraq and another in Afghanistan
He married Angela Wiemer in 1983. The couple has three children and nine grandchildren.
Facebook messages poured in from friends.
Sheldon Fire Chief Chad Jones asked in a Facebook message for others to say prayers for the department.
“We lost a brother, Sheldon EMS, a husband, father, grandfather and an all-around family man,” Chad Jones said.
Sheldon firefighter Scott Jones and Wiemer’s brother-in-law convinced him to join the fire department. He said Wiemer pushed himself hard in helping in the community and “making a difference without asking for a thank you.”
“Kevin was a part of a hometown business that put a large smile on everyone’s face when they came in to get stuff. He made a big difference in our world,” Scott Jones said in a Facebook message. “He filled a lot of hearts. We are going miss [him].”
A crisis center was scheduled for 5:30 p.m. last Friday at the fire hall to assist those who helped with the incident.
In another social media post, Chad Jones said, “To lose one of our own and to be on scene of the accident was the worse, but at the end of the day, Kevin left us surrounded by people that loved him. We wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Chad Jones also thanked all the fire, EMS, police, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources personnel that attended Wiemer’s service. He also thanked Ryan Tuma and Shelly Tuma for helping at a time of need.
“Kevin, you will always be our hero. Fly high brother,” Chad Jones stated on social media.
AMVETS 127 Post Commander John Vacho described Wiemer as “the epitome of selfless service.”
“He was what I think every man should aspire to become, kind and generous but tough when he needed to be,” Vacho said. “He was personable, gentle and compassionate when he needed to be.”
Vacho praised Wiemer for being involved in his community and family.
“He was many things to many people all of which were positive. He was a leader who never asked anything of anyone that he wouldn’t do himself and probably already did,” Vacho said.
“I am thankful to have served with him and proud to call him a ‘brother,’” Vacho also said.
A funeral service was held on Monday, Sept. 23.
The Rusk County Sheriff’s Office, Sheldon Fire Department, Rusk County EMS, Ladysmith Fire Department, Wisconsin State Patrol, LifeLink Helicopter and Jump River Fire Department responded to the scene.