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We have 40+ members from Marquette and Alger County in Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula, and more than half of our team is comprised of current and former first responders.

Our membership also represents Corrections, DNR, Schools, Hospital, Mental Health, Social Work, and Veterans.

 

2023 CISM Team

Kristie Buruse - Co-Coordinator

I started my career in Emergency Services when I was 21 years old and wanted to save the world.  I started as an EMT and then became a Paramedic.  I also volunteered as a firefighter then went on to work in dispatch.  Kind of  a backwards way of doing thing but with burnout, that was the way I did it. I may be officially “retired” now, but I’ll never retire from CISM. 

"My calling is keeping our first responders alive an in the jobs they love"

Jeff Green - Board Member

Retired Captain/EMT Jeff Green: I grew up around the fire service. My father served for twenty-eight  years with Marquette City Fire and retired a Captain in 1988. Feeling the call, I joined Chocolay Township Volunteer Fire Department and CCI’s Fire Brigade in 1993. In 1995 I was hired by Marquette Fire and worked to continue my dad’s legacy until my retirement in 2020. Those who serve in emergency services are exposed to things that “civilians” will likely never see, feel, hear, taste or smell. That becomes a heavy burden. I am proud that I served, but it did come at a cost. 

"My goal in being a part of Central Upper Michigan Critical Stress Management Team is to help those who serve realize that there are ways to mitigate the burden, and minimize the personal cost.” 

Nate Thompson - Board Treasurer

I joined the team in 2021 while working for Child Protective Services after attending a training in Group Crisis Intervention. I served 7 years in the Army National Guard and deployed to Iraq in 2010. I'm currently a forensic interviewer with the Delta Regional Child Advocacy Center. My involvement is to provide support for local first responders and act as a resource for incidents involving children or veterans. I grew up in St. Ignace, MI and have lived in Marquette since 2016. 

 “The health of frontline workers is crucial for the strength of any community. My experience with secondary trauma motivated me to become involved with this team. I’m able to help support the well-being of frontline workers and give back to those who are keeping our community safe and strong.”

Dr. Greg Jones - Board Member

Dr. Gregory Jones is a Health Psychologist in private practice in Marquette, Michigan. He completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship with the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine’s Clinical Health Psychology Fellowship at the Flint Area Medical Education campus. His post-doctoral training specializations were Health Psychology, Neuropsychology, and Rehabilitation Psychology. He completed his pre-doctoral clinical internship at the Western New York Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Buffalo, New York with specializations in Health 

Psychology and Neuropsychology. Dr. Jones received his doctoral degree from Indiana State University and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Texas Tech University. Dr. Jones provides individual counseling, marital therapy, and psychological testing for adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). An additional scope of his practice 

includes conducting pre-employment evaluations for several Upper Peninsula law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and other public safety positions. He has years of experience that have included working with emergency responders, combat and non-combat Veterans, and patients with various forms of trauma. 

“Being a part of our CISM team provides me the opportunity to show my gratitude to our 

emergency responders that provide so much to so many.” 

Susan Andary - Co-Coordinator

As someone who has always had an interest in the First Responder world I was fortunate enough to be able to become an EMT in 2009 and then an Advanced EMT in 2013,  I absolutely love working in EMS. Like the movie Forest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”  That is so true everyday when we go to work.   During the time spent in this career I have gotten to see the toll that being a First Responder can take on yourself, your family as well as friends.  We see things totally different than the rest of the world. We see people on usually the worst days of their lives and sometimes its hard to get those things out of our heads after the call. When asked to be involved in the CISM team it was an easy decision.  Always there to help and support our peers.  

"It is my passion to be able to support First Responders in Marquette and Alger County in order to help them be able to be their "Best Selves" and to not carry the weight of the world on their shoulders."

Jennifer Best - Board Secretary

 I hail from a farming community downstate Michigan but have family roots in the UP.  From a young age I knew I wanted to live up here.  I am a graduate of Northern Michigan University and the Northern Michigan Regional Police Academy.  After graduating I moved back downstate and began my Law Enforcement career, got married, and we started raising our family.  I had been in Law Enforcement for 15 years when my husband's job relocated us back to Marquette!  I began working for the Sheriff's Office in 2017 and have been blessed to be able to be the liaison between mental health and police services, a forensic interviewer, and a member of such a strong CISM team! 

  

"I have wanted to be a part of a CISM team since I first started my career.  I became a police officer to be there for people in their worst moments to bring them some sense of calm and help them find the resources they need in their time of crisis. CISM made sense to me the more I served.  I came to realize that it is not so easy for those of us who help others for a living to help ourselves or to take our own advice.  It is also not so easy to talk about the things that we have been through or seen with someone who we don't perceive as a safe person.  I feel blessed to be able to be on a strong team that is there to give back to those who serve to help them get back to a place where they can feel peace again. "

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Jacki Lasich - Board Member

My trauma training started after experiencing some significant trauma and suffering from PTSD for 18 years. It destroyed my relationships and tried to take my life until I learned about Trauma. My trauma specialty training began through the National Institute for Trauma and Loss and I received my Certification as a Trauma Practitioner in 2001. I began my career working in the school system and as the program director for a grief support organization called Michael’s Place in Traverse City, MI,

providing trauma counseling for adults, children and families. I then began working in the Medical Field once my Master’s degree was completed in 2007 working with Hospice, Palliative Care and Oncology, as well as having a private practice, specifically working with those suffering from PTSD, depression and anxiety. In 2018 I made the move to God’s country and have worked for UPHS-Marquette as the Oncology Social Worker and as part of the community and hospital CISM Teams to continue assisting

First Responders struggling with trauma. I am excited to actually “retire” from the medical system this year and be able to devote more time to

educating and supporting First Responders through CISM and providing one on one trauma interventions. My hope is that every person who experiences trauma learns that their responses are normal, natural and individual. The more we understand Post Traumatic Stress (victimized by events) the more it can become Post Traumatic Growth (surviving events) through knowledge and healthycoping skills.

Ryan Grim

I’m a lifelong resident of Marquette County and graduated from Gwinn High School and then NMU. I’ve always had a strong desire to help people and this desire drove me to seek out a career in law enforcement.  I was hired by the Marquette City Police Department in 2001, right after I graduated from NMU’s Police Academy.  I worked my way through the ranks and now serve as the Chief of Police, where I am honored to work with an amazing team of talented and dedicated officers. 

"Being a part of the CISM team means a lot to me because I have seen first hand how much we need each other to get through tough times. Helping the heroes that serve their communities is a very important and necessary service that I am happy to help with in any way that I can."

Kelly December

I have been involved in CISM since taking my first class with Jay in 2010. As a Registered Nurse since 1980, my career dealing with families and staff experiencing traumatic events led to my interest.   It’s an opportunity for giving back to colleagues and community that I can continue into my retirement. 

Brandon Cory

I Currently live in the Marquette area with my wife and two dogs. I have lived and grown up in the area my whole life. I currently work for Marquette City Fire Department as a Firefighter/Paramedic. I have been in the fire and EMS service going on 15 years. I joined the team to be there for our brothers and sisters in their time of need. “We all need help at times and to be able to be there for one of our own is the least I can do. “

Jeff Noble

In 1987 I jumped at an offer to become a Forest Fire Officer with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in the Upper Peninsula. I fought fires, performed prescribed fires and led others in these activities across Michigan, across the U.S. and even into Canada.

I spent the first 8 years of my wildland firefighting career with the US Forest Service in Wyoming and South Dakota on handcrews, engines and helitack

 

Recruited by a fellow firefighter, I served with Sands Twp Volunteer Fire Department  for a short while, I was also recruited to help develop and implement a

Wildland Firefighting program at NMU and served as an instructor there for 18 years.  Jeff has been a member of the Marquette/Alger CISM Team since the mid 1990’s.

“We stand side-by-side in a legion of first responders that stretches into the past further than we can see, and further into the future than we can imagine.

I am honored to be here with you, thankful that you've been here for me when I needed you most, and committed to be here for you if you need me.”

Kirk Vogler

Hello, my name is Kirk Vogler, I am originally from the Metro Detroit area and was one of the lucky few to be able to move and find myself settled in the Marquette area. I have been in the fire service for 18 years and most currently worked for the Marquette City Fire Department for the last 12. Throughout my life there have been ups and downs, with the help of loved ones and peers I have been able to find my way through them. My hope is that being part of this team I can offer the same to someone in need. 

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31: 6

Brandon Morey

Hello, my name is Brandon Morey. I have the privilege of serving Marquette city as a firefighter paramedic. Prior to this position I worked in local churches as a pastor for 22 years. I have always enjoyed helping people, which is why I feel being a part of this peer support team is so important. We are faced with many challenges, both on the job and away from it.

“ Knowing that there is a support group ready and available when needed has been a source of comfort and encouragement for me and my family. “

Pam Basal

My name is Pam Basal. I’m a wife, mom and grandmother. I retired in 2021 after serving 31 years in uniform for the Michigan Department of Corrections. While there, I served the last 6 years on their TISM team. I currently work for the Department of Defense helping Veterans and Service Members connect to their benefits. Volunteering and giving back brings me great joy. Currently, I’m part of the South Shore Fishing Association, Marquette County Veterans Alliance, American Legion Auxiliary, ESGR, and Together With Veterans. For hobbies, I like to garden, home canning and preserving, hunting, fishing, quilting and reading. I have a strong faith and do my best to find positive things in every day life. 

Mike Gregorich

Mike is a Marquette native, who has been involved with the fire service since 1999 and received his EMS license in 2008.  Currently working as one of three full time employees for Marquette Township Fire Rescue as a Fire Inspector/Firefighter/EMT.  Additionally, holds the roll of Captain and Engineer/Operator and completed the Michigan Company Officer I and II Series.  Attended NMU and graduated with a bachelors in Mechanical Engineering Technology and a Masters in Training and Development (Adult Learning).  Lives in Marquette with his family and joined the team to learn the tools needed to help myself and others deal with the ins and outs of public safety responses.  “The best way forward is together. “

Denise Belpedio

Hello, I’m Denise Belpedio a retired EMT.  I worked with Champion Township First Responders for 30 years.
My husband Jim and I had three children, all of which had three children and we now have 6 great grandchildren.  I am very family minded.  Being in the emergency medical service feels like an extended family. I believe we all care about each other’s physical and mental state.  That is why this group of fabulous caring people is so important, we’re a family.

Cindy Finch

Influenced by life’s events, and motivated to help others. 
Experienced administrative assistant, former high school coach, and most importantly wife, mom, grandmother, and good friend.  CISM, and ESGR volunteer. Hobbies include canning and preserving food, water color painting, sewing, and trail riding.

Lyn Nelson

• I’d really like a fire escape ladder for my bedroom. (age 6)
• I would like a good quality ring. And Dad, if there is leftover money, there’s always the fire        escape ladder. (age 11)
• I’m taking this EMT class for a resume builder, so don’t expect me to take the state test. (age 18)

A wild ride, many life experiences and numerous professions has left a busted up mind, body  and spirit.  How to fill the cracks is the most satisfying way I’ve found to thrive.  Reduce the chaos, replace with calm.  Always in a quest for the betterment and balance.  That’s why I am part of CISM.

June Wickstrom

I’m a Case Manager in ICU.  I work with patients and families who are working through illness, trauma and end of life issues.  I feel support of our care givers is essential. CISM is a way of giving that support.

“There is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it.  If only, we are brave enough to be it.” Amanda Gorman

Tom Kinnunen

I’m adopted from South Korea and was raised by some fins in Munising, MI. 

Been trooping since 2008 across the Michigan.

CISM is good.  CISM is a tool to help fellow first responders by listening and sharing.

“you get what you give…send it!”

Paula Paszke-Hardie

I have been doing disaster relief and humanitiarian response as life allowed while parenting and being a Limited Licensed Psychologist.  My college was funded by the Navy after serving as a stateside paramedic at the tail end of the Vietnam War.  I volunteered for Habitat for Humanity International, with Red Cross, the local D.A.T. Team and helped put together a rapid response medical team after the Haiti earthquake in 2010.  I am a member of the Team Rubicon doing similar roles.  During COVID, I did staff support for U.P. hospitals and nursing homes.  Since retiring, I re-upped my EMT certification and volunteered with Global Response Medicine on the border of Texas mostly doing PSTD work along with some medical triage with the refugees,  I have been with the local CISM Team since its inception. 

Why?  Supporting each other allows us to stay on the job longer and in a   capacity.

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Lisa Jahnke

My name is Lisa Jahnke. I am a retired high school special education teacher and taught in the public schools for 30 years. I was at Marquette Senior High School for the last 20+ years. I am new to the CISM team and am hoping to be the link between the schools and the team. It has always been my thought that teachers and school personnel are highly affected when their students are affected by a tragedy.  While I’m hoping that my service never becomes necessary, the training I received will enable me to work with the CISM team to guide school personnel through the process. 

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Dr. Doug Labelle

Kara Graci

Kara Graci is a Licensed Master Social Worker. She has worked in a variety of settings from education, neonatal intensive care, geriatric social work, and on the Community Mental Health Crisis Team. Kara is a police survivor to Officer Larry Nehasil, EOW 01/17/2011, Livonia Police Department. She currently is a school social worker at the Marquette Alger Regional Educational Service Agency and serves as the CISM team's school liaison.  

"My true passion lies in linking all individuals to mental health services and resources in the community and my personal and professional connections to first responders led me to CISM. I am proud to be able to give back to the community who helped shape who I am today."

Kirby Franti

I have been in law enforcement since 2015 here in Marquette County. I have worked at NMU Public Safety, Forsyth Township Police Department, and the Ishpeming Police Department. I currently serve as the Road Patrol Sergeant. I also serve as a volunteer firefighter for the City of Negaunee and have been on the Department since 2018. 

 “Being a first responder,  I know how important it is to keep your coworkers healthy as we all work together everyday. Being able to help a fellow brother or sister is why I joined the CISM team.  Family is, and always will be my number one priority."

Brett Beaudry

I am a born and raised in Marquette,MI and a father to 2 young girls.  I have been a firefighter since 2006 starting with Marquette Township . I was hired in 2010 as a full time FF/EMT with the City of Marquette. Since then,  I have worked through the ranks and am currently a Lt / Paramedic. I also conduct fire investigations among various other responsibilities.

 “I love this job more than anything but also know the difficulties it can have on not just yourself but your family.  I am honored to be part of this team and look forward to working within the community. “

Kyle Lancour

Hey all! I’m Kyle Lancour and I’m a paramedic for Alger county EMS as well as UPHS EMS. I have been involved in EMS for 9 years and have had involvement in fire as well with Chocolay fire dept. I’m a Marquette native and graduate of MSHS. Attending CISM training about 1 year ago, I am quite new to the team but very excited to be a part of it and help support whoever may need it.  “Just because no one can heal or do your inner work for you, doesn’t mean you can, should or need to do it alone!”

Kris Shirtz

Well, what is there to know about me? I am an open book for the most part. My name is Kris Shirtz. I was born in Marquette. After high school I went to LSSU for a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Science. After college, I returned to Marquette and became a contract firefighter/ EMT-B for the Huron Mountain Club and then joined the DNR as a Keyman in their Wildland Fire Division. While working these two jobs, I also joined the Powell Township Fire and EMS volunteer departments and, shortly thereafter, Marquette County Search and Rescue. When August of 2010 rolled around I was offered a full time position at the Marquette City Fire Department as a FF/EMT-B and after a few years, the Fire Department sent a number of us through paramedic school. Since that time my family has grown from a wife and dog to having two additional little mouths to feed and boy do they grow fast and eat lots! 

 

One of the reasons I joined peer support is because I know that first responders don’t have others to turn to when we are hurting; the same goes for military or law enforcement. There was a call that I was on that, while it didn’t get to me, it did get to a younger member of my shift. If this individual didn’t come to talk to me, he may have not stayed in the first responder world. I am not saying I have all the answers, for a fact I know I don’t, but this person trusted me to help them get through this hard time. To this day, this person is one of the best first responders I know and I am proud to work alongside them. 
 

“You are never alone, you are never left in the dark, do not let the fear of being weak keep you from being you. For you are stronger than you will ever know. This is just a test of your mental compass. Take a breath and follow your compass, it will guide you back.” 

Jason Wallner

Jason Wallner became a member of the CISM Team in September 2022.  His primary role is the U.P.’s Regional Veteran Navigator with NorthCare Network since 2017, focusing on assisting Veterans, military families and servicemembers experiencing challenges and aiding in access to mental health and substance abuse services.  He served in the Michigan Army National Guard for 23 yrs, retiring as a Captain in 2022.  He is an OIF and OEF Veteran, serving in Baghdad, Iraq (2007-08) and Kandahar, Afghanistan (2012-13) conducting Engineer route clearance operations.  Jason is a lifelong resident of the U.P. and father of 3.  Jason enjoys spending time in the outdoors with family and exploring the wonders of the U.P.!

Mariann Annala

96th District Court Probation Officer

I became involved with CISM to help others and my peers. 

"Team work makes the dream work"

Ruth Gerhart

I am a Marquette transplant originally from Chicago and have been a forensic social worker working in jail mental health and problem solving courts for 14 years. I currently serve as the Afterhours Emergency Services Clinical Program Supervisor and Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Coordinator for Marquette County in my role with a Pathways.

”I am passionate about trauma informed approaches in criminal justice and in the helping professions and feel CISM is vital to keeping our first responder community at its highest level.”

Hailey Fezatt

Born and raised in the UP, I always knew I wanted to be in a position to help others in our tight knit town and surrounding communities. I currently work in emergency services providing crisis intervention services during the day and after hours. In my free time you may find me outdoors with my three Boxers enjoying this UP weather! 

 “Trauma has no limits. Providing support to any and all that serve in our communities is what I am drawn to do. “

Melissa Hinkhouse

Hi everyone; my name is Melissa Hinkhouse. I started my medical career many years ago as an EMT-B in 1998. Over the years, I stepped up my education and career by working as an LPN and RN. I finally completed my degree and served our community as a Psychiatric Mental health Nurse Practitioner. As a result, I gained a greater appreciation for each field and the true meaning of a team effort in every entity I worked. Yet, I continued to recognize the need for greater resources and support. Throughout my journey, I was fortunate to have met a member of the CISM team and learned about the valuable services offered. I quickly knew CISM was a team I wanted to join. My husband is a retired Marine. After spending many years as a part of a military community, I gained even more knowledge and understanding of the trials and tribulations that come with the highs and lows of life. The CISM team has helped me find the comrade and comfort in knowing we are here to help in your time of need, and I am proud to be a part of that.

“Just because no one else can heal or do your inner work for you; doesn’t mean you can, should,

or need to do it alone!” Author: Lisa Olivera

Nicole Mcgill

Hello! I am a lifelong Yooper and work in emergency crisis services as well as mental health and substance abuse treatment.  I became a part of the CISM team through Northcare Network to further assist in providing services to our community.

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud”  Maya Angelou

Ann Clancy

I have been an ICU nurse for 35 years and currently work in the UP Health System Trauma Department.  In my spare time I work a few shifts on the Guardian Flight helicopter.  Currently a member of both the Central UP CISM Team, the Houghton/Keewanaw team  along with the UP Health System hospital team.  Have been a CISM member for almost me entire career. 

Randy Schwemin

Hello everyone.  My name is Randy Schwemin.  I was born and raised in Marquette.  I have been involved in emergency services since 2001 for both Marquette and Alger County.   I have a wide range of job experience including Fire/EMS, palliative care, child and family services, family medicine and addiction counseling.

I have been involved in multiple debriefings as a responder but have only been a member of the CISM team for a year.  I feel very strongly about the importance  of the services provided by the CISM team and was excited to get the opportunity to attend the training.  I have personally gone through losing a mentor and fellow member of the fire department due to suicide which makes this service even more important to me.

Logan Treist

I am an Emergency Department Doc at UP Health System Bell Hospital which is the same hospital that I was born at.  I am relatively new to the CISM Team.  I hope to give back to all of those who have helped me during my career. 

Greg Zyburt

I’ve been with CISM for 20+ years before we really knew what the effects of PTSD and other related stress to our hard working first responders. I totally believe in this program and support it wholeheartedly. I’ve been in law-enforcement for 43 years and currently the Marquette county sheriff.

I am a Firefighter/Paramedic with the Marquette City Fire Department.  I am a UP native with a love for Michigan outdoors such as fishing and hunting.  I care about the mental health aspect of First Responders jobs.

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Shaun Hughes

I started in Emergency Medical Services in 2001, first becoming a MFR and eventually an EMT.  EMS/Law Enforcement was always a childhood dreaming, after looking up to my father and other public safety heroes.  I graduated from Northern Michigan University with a degree in Criminal Justice and also serve as a law enforcement officer, as well as Divemaster for the Alger County Rescue 21 Dive Team.  I have been through Critical Incident Stress Debriefings throughout my career after critical incidents and have found them to be very beneficial.  

"It has always been my goal to best serve my community, and recently attended CISM training.  It is important that everyone who serves look out for and take care of each other, without that, it limits our ability to help others. " 

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