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Ripon fire chief home after being hospitalized with COVID-19

Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 4:42 PM CST
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RIPON, Wis. (WBAY) - A Fond du Lac County fire chief has a lot to be thankful for. After being hospitalized, for more than a month, with COVID-19, Ripon Fire Chief Tim Saul is back home and the fire service community was there when he arrived.

It’s been more than six weeks since Ripon Fire Chief Tim Saul has been at work. It was early December when he was hospitalized with a severe case of COVID-19.

According to Capt. Bryan Markel with the Ripon Area Fire District, “He always wore his N95, always had a bottle of sanitizer on him, so he was extremely careful with how he handled things on a day to day basis so it was kind of odd to find out he caught it and for his condition to go so rapidly and end up in the hospital”

After 34 days of fighting for his life, Chief Saul’s care team of more than 70 nurses and doctors cheered for him as he was wheeled out of ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah Monday afternoon.

“It’s so emotional. I didn’t realize how sick I was and I was within 24 hours of being on a ventilator and who knows what would happen then,” says Chief Saul. He adds, “It’s been long and tough, but thanks to everybody I’ll make it through.”

His recovery got an even bigger boost when he arrived back home in Ripon. More than a dozen emergency vehicles from fire departments and law enforcement agencies throughout Fond du Lac County participated in a parade past his home.

“Many of these, majority of departments are all volunteers so they have other things to do, jobs, and for them to come out here like this it says an awful lot about Chief Saul, what they think of him,” adds Chief Peter O’Leary from Fond du Lac Fire Rescue.

Every flashing light, honk, and wave meant the world to Chief Saul who will continue to recover at home, but looks forward to getting back to work. He says, “I have to be on oxygen for probably a month, some therapy and stuff, but hope to get back into the swing of things in a month or two.”

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