Heroes Roll Call: Patrolman Otto J. Ziska, #475

The Cleveland Police Museum is honored to tell the stories of our Fallen Officers on the anniversary of their End of Watch.

Patrolman Otto J. Ziska, #475, EOW 3/31/1940

Officer Otto Ziska joined the Cleveland Police Department on August 16, 1918 and was assigned to the 5th Precinct. He had previously served with the city park police force. On October 1, 1922 he was reassigned to 5th Emergency Squad. On May 15, 1929, his squad received a call to respond to the Cleveland Clinic for an explosion and fire with numerous dead and injured.

As police and firefighters arrived on the scene, they observed billowing smoke and flames raging from the sub-basement, used to store nitrate x-ray films . Patrolman Ziska immediately entered the building to assisting doctors, nurses and patients out of the inferno.

Patrolman Ziska was credited with saving the lives of numerous citizens during this disaster. As a result of his efforts that day, Patrolman Ziska battled the remainder of his life with chronic lung problems which hospitalized him on numerous occasions. After suffering over a decade with these health problems, Patrolman Ziska succumbed to his injuries on March 31, 1940.

Patrolman Ziska was survived by his wife Catherine and children Magdalene, Adolph, Raymond, and John. Services for Patrolman Ziska were conducted by the Masonic Order at the Nosek & Sons Funeral Home.

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