Wisconsin AFSCME (Council 24) member helps find the lost
shared with permission from the afscme.org blog.
BY CLYDE WEISS | MARCH 27, 2014
Warden Dave Oginski
Wisconsin Conservation Warden Dave Oginski’s skills as a tracker helped save the lives of at least a dozen people over the years and were recently highlighted in a feature-length story in the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
At a time when public services are threatened and even demonized, in cities and states across the country, Oginski’s story is a reminder of the true value of the work that public service employees do every day in every place in America.
A member of AFSCME Local 1215,Council 24, Oginski is employed at the state Department of Natural Resources’ Wausaukee ranger station. When hunters, fishermen and others who venture into this territory become lost, it’s his job to find them.
Oginski “helped track and find at least six people lost in the woods last year, which is more than any other warden in Wisconsin,” the Press-Gazette reported. The story further notes the 29-year-old personally helped locate at least 12 people since he began working as a conservation warden in 2007. He conducted six search and rescue missions during the latest deer-hunting season.
“This guy has just been Johnny-on-the-spot for us numerous times,” Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Suave told the Press-Gazette. “He has a knack for determining which way somebody went while finding lost people.”
As for himself, Oginski is humble. “It’s just a matter of using what I use every day,” he tells AFSCME. For example, he uses tracking skills to search for signs of poaching, which is “sometimes as simple as going down the road and looking at tracks in the dirt” to see where they lead.
“A lot of the officers are trained the same way, whether they’re conservation wardens or police officers,” he added. “It’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.”
Oginski may be humble about his job, but he’s proud to declare he’s an AFSCME member.
“It gives me a lot of pride in the fact that I can say I am a member of the union, and still go out and do my work,” he said. “I’m not whatever we have been portrayed as” by right-wing extremists.