Sioux Falls man recognized for work during pandemic with challenge coin

Positively KELOLAND

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes of the city of Sioux Falls COVID-19 response that you may not know about. Now one man is being recognized for his work.

You may not know Matt Henkelman, but he is playing an important role for the City of Sioux Falls by helping some of the city’s most vulnerable population.

“Basically picking someone up either from a downtown location and then bringing them to get tested and then maybe to a recovery center while they wait for their results, it could be somebody who is getting discharged from the hospital but still needs to isolate, or maybe doesn’t have anywhere else to go to isolate or quarantine,” driver, Matt Henkelman said.

It’s something Henkelman does everyday, including weekends and holidays, and it can be a job a lot of people don’t necessarily want to do.

That’s why Mayor Paul TenHaken decided to recognize his efforts.

“There’s a lot of people fearful of the virus who would never want to go near anyone who’s potentially exposed and then here’s a guy who said ‘listen, I will transport these people to where they need to be, they may or may not be positive and that’s a risk I’m willing to take to serve the community,'” Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said.

On Wednesday, Henkelman received a challenge coin from mayor TenHaken.

“These coins are little medallions that we use to hand out to people in the community that kind of go above and beyond to help people, and they embody the core values of the city, safety, teamwork, innovation, character, and respect,” TenHaken said. “I’m just continually impressed with the people in this community who are going above and beyond their regular job, their regular lives, to help right now.”

“I really appreciate being recognized, receiving the challenge coin, everybody I’ve worked with has been, it’s been seamless, and very easy, I know I’m receiving recognition, it’s humbling,” Henkelman said.

Henkelman started in this position in November. Right now he is contracted through the city until the end of December.

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