The Cleveland Police Museum is honored to tell the stories of our Fallen Officers on the anniversary of their End of Watch.
Arthur Guenther was appointed to the Cleveland Police Department on April 2, 1923. “Big Art” Guenther stood 6 ft 4 inches tall and weighed 270 pounds. Over his police career, he walked a beat, rode in a patrol car and directed traffic with a hand operated STOP & GO sign, but his greatest pleasure came when he was assigned to be the first aid attendant (forerunner to a paramedic) on Ambulance #491.
On June 9, 1950 Guenther and his partner and driver Theodore Vanik, were dispatched to a crash scene. While in transit with emergency lights flashing and sirens screaming, a car appeared from a side street, hit the ambulance and knocked it over. Guenther was thrown out of the ambulance and the wagon tipped over on top of him. Vanik and others manhandled the heavy ambulance off Guenther.
When he arrived in the emergency room at St. Alexis Hospital the doctors gave him three minutes to live, but his strong heart kept pumping. He lived for eleven pain-filled years during which he had fourteen operations.
He was survived by his wife Mildred, children William, Leona Lorenz and Marjorie Hladik, and seven grandchildren. As one of eleven children, he was also survived by many sisters and brothers and nieces and nephews.