Flags to fly at half staff in Wisconsin for first responder, nurse who died from COVID-19 complications


IXONIA, Wis. (WFRV) – Wisconsin’s governor has ordered flags of the United States and the state of Wisconsin to be flown at half-staff in honor of a first responder who died after contracting COVID-19 while in the line of duty.

According to Governor Tony Evers, Cpt. Kelly Lynn Raether of the Town of Ixonia Fire & EMS passed away on Thanksgiving after she was exposed to and contract COVID-19 as she responded to the emergency medical needs of a COVID-19 patient.

“Cpt. Raether served her community every day with astounding courage and selflessness, putting her health and safety on the line, even during a global pandemic, to help others,” says Gov. Evers. “This is a devastating loss and we send our deepest condolences to Capt. Raether’s family and the Ixonia community. While our first responders are always prepared to run towards danger, let this be a reminder to all of us how critical our actions are in helping to keep them safe during this pandemic.” 

Raether, in addition to serving her community as an emergency medicine technician for 15 years, was a professor of nursing, teaching the next generation of healthcare providers.

According to affiliate WDJT, Raether joined the Ixonia Fire Department in 2005 and served as an advanced EMT, EMS lieutenant and most recently as EMS captain. She was also a registered nurse at Aurora Hospital in Hartford and a nursing instructor at Carroll University in Waukesha.

One of Raether’s crew members told WDJT that they were exposed in late October after transporting a patient that tested positive for COVID-19. Soon after they quarantined, Raether started to feel sick, later testing positive as well.

She was hospitalized on Nov. 9 before dying on Thanksgiving.

Ixonia Fire Chief David Schilling told WDJT that Raether’s locker at the firehouse will remain empty and her number will not be assigned to anybody. Her department ID number will be retired as well.

Executive Order #96 is effective immediately and flags are to remain at half staff until sunset on Saturday, Dec. 5.

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