LANSING, Mich. — The House Transportation Committee on Tuesday heard testimony regarding Senate Bill 543, which would name a stretch of Interstate 94 after fallen Comstock Fire Chief Ed Switalski.
“Chief Switalski was a true public servant and should not be forgotten,” Sen. Margaret O’Brien, R-Portage, said. “Renaming this stretch of I-94 after him will help to remind people of road safety and honor his commitment to our community.”
Chief Switalski was killed in the line of duty on June 14, 2017 when he was struck by a vehicle while responding to an accident on I-94 in Kalamazoo County. He was named Michigan Fire Chief of the Year for 2017. The bill would name the span between exits 80 and 86 on I-94 after Switalski.
“My hope is that if just one person sees the sign honoring Chief Switalski and realizes it’s there as a memorial they will slow down and pay attention to the road,” said Rep. Dave Maturen, R-Vicksburg, who has introduced companion legislation, House Bill 4943. “Maybe it will save a life — maybe even their own.”
SB 543 now heads to the full House for final approval.
Photo caption: Holly Switalski (left), Portage Senior Deputy Fire Chief John Podgorski (middle left), state Rep. Dave Maturen (middle right) and Sen. O’Brien’s Chief of Staff Stephanie Bogema testified before the House Transportation Committee on Jan. 16 in support of Senate Bill 543 to rename a stretch of Interstate 94 after fallen Comstock Fire Chief Ed Switalski.