Retired first responder mourns the loss of firefighter and paramedic Estabrook
The Muscatine community continues to mourn the loss of Devin Estabrook, a firefighter and paramedic.
“It's very heartbreaking, gut-wrenching” said retired law enforcement officer and EMS worker Bonnie Buelt.
On Monday morning, 49-year-old Devin Estabrook was riding his bike on Highway 61, as he did often when an unknown vehicle hit him.
“He was doing something that he enjoyed,” said Buelt. Estabrook later died from his injuries.
Buelt says he was always safe on his bike rides, “I used to pass him on Saturday mornings, a lot of time. It was a little dark but he would always have lights on his bike and everything and he was never out in the traffic. He was always on the side of the road. He did everything right.”
Bonnie Buelt has seen her fair share of trauma, “I know personally going out to devastating scenes. We deal with it, we do what we need to do, and then we have to come back and unwind.”
So she knows having a hobby, like Estabrook, is important. “We have hearts too, we don't go in there thinking this is all glory, we go in because we love our job,” she said.
Because of the difficult job, she says it’s a must to have a way to take your mind off your work. “People always ask me how do I deal with stress when I was in the profession. What I did, I had a house that I lived on about a quarter of an acre, I did landscaping. "
Which is why she now has a garden of her own. "With my flower beds. I rode my bike a LOT, all over. So I think you need to have a hobby of some sort to relief. That was always my stress reliever, what I do now."
As of right now, the suspect has not been caught. Buelt says if you know something - please come forward. "Hopefully somebody with a heart will come forward. It was an accident, and that's the way you gotta look at it," said Buelt, tearing up.
In the meantime, "keep good thoughts with the family. Once a week or two is out in the distance, don't forget him because it's something the community and brothers and sisters will never forget."