Saving Lives: James Bissonette Honored With Hero’s Walk

Saving Lives: James Bissonette Honored With Hero’s Walk
Fire fighters, EMTs, and health care providers acknowledge James Bissionette in a Hero's Walk as he is wheeled down the hallway at Bryan East Medical Center in Lincoln (09/23/21). Dan Knoell Photo.

Members of the Broken Bow Fire Department and EMT Department were in Lincoln Thursday for a Hero’s  Walk for one of their own.

James Bissonette had been seriously ill due to complications from COVID for several days. On Wednesday, the difficult decision was made to donate his organs. Thursday morning Broken Bow firefighters, EMTs, and nursing staff lined the hallway at Bryan East Medical Center as he was wheeled down the hallway one last time.

Bissonette was honored as a member of the Broken Bow Volunteer Fire Department.
Broken Bow Mayor Rod Sonnichsen and City Administrator Dan Knoell were also on hand. Sonnichsen said five vehicles from Broken Bow arrived packed with firefighters and EMTs to be there. Forty to fifty nurses and other health care providers from Bryan East also took part. All solemnly clapped their hands as Bissonette was transported the length of the hallway.

“This is how they honor heroes. I was very impressive,” Sonnichsen said. He spoke of the bond of Broken Bow emergency responders. “It’s so impressive how tight Broken Bow first responders are. It’s emotional.”

Sonnichsen estimated about 80 percent of Broken Bow’s EMT and fire departments were present and that neighboring towns in Custer County were put on backup.

“This is a huge thing,” Sonnichsen said. “It hits the heart.”