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Two car crashes and an overdose lead to Life Saver awards

From left are: Becker County Deputy Ben Bruce, Michael Stroschein, Austen Schultz, Jordan Ketter, Abe Tappe, Cory Overland, Larry Grell, and Sheriff Todd Glander. Photo by Barry Nelson.

Several people were honored Tuesday at the county board meeting with Life Saver awards from the Becker County Sheriff's Office.

The first incident was reported at 7:36 a.m. on Sept. 16, when the Becker County Sheriff's Office received a report of a motor vehicle crash on County Road 29, about a mile north of Frazee.

Deputies Ben Bruce and Tony Christensen responded to the scene. When Bruce arrived, he noticed flames under the vehicle and two people still inside the vehicle. A retired firefighter, Abe Tappe, witnessed the crash and responded to help. There were also four young men — Austen Schultz, Cory Overland, Jordan Ketter, and Michael Stroschein — goose hunting about 75 yards away from the crash who came over to help the deputies. Deputy Bruce, with the help of the hunters, pulled the passenger out of the vehicle. Tappe, the four hunters, and Frazee Rescue personnel began treating the passenger.

Deputy Christensen and the Frazee Fire Department began extinguishing the fire and extrication of the driver, who was then pulled from the vehicle. Both occupants were airlifted from the scene. All the rescuers were given Life Saver awards.

Deputy Bruce was also honored for a second incident that was reported at about 1:56 p.m. on Oct. 28, when officers from the Detroit Lakes Police Department and Becker County Sheriff's Office responded to a residence in Detroit Lakes on the report of a heroin overdose.

Dispatch advised officers that the victim was not breathing and was turning blue. When officers arrived, they confirmed the victim was not breathing. Rescue breathing was then initiated, and Deputy Bruce administered two doses of Narcan at 2:01 p.m.

Shortly after the Narcan was administered, the victim took a short breath on his own. EMS arrived and the victim was then transferred to the ambulance, where he began taking more breaths on his own. Eventually the victim became alert and declined further treatment from EMS.

In the third incident, motorist Larry Grell was honored for his quick action helping a crash victim.

On Nov. 29, the Becker County Sheriff's Office received a report of a motor vehicle crash in Osage. The vehicle had been traveling westbound on Highway 34 when the vehicle left the road, hitting an oak tree.

Larry Grell was also traveling west when he saw the vehicle go into the ditch. Grell stopped his vehicle to help the crash victim. Grell noticed the driver was unresponsive as he approached the vehicle, and the engine was racing, with smoke coming from the tires.

Grell was able to shut off the engine and pull the driver out of the vehicle. He was then assisted by emergency responders and deputies, and the driver was airlifted for further medical treatment.

A Life Saver Award is given for saving or attempting to save a life using modern life saving techniques, or quick and appropriate action in an attempt to save a life. No risk to the rescuer's own life is required. The recipient of this award receives a "Life Savers Certificate" presented by the Becker County Board. The act may occur during time of employment or assisting an individual while off duty.

The act should be documented and submitted to the Becker County safety director and Becker County Safety Committee within six months. The act would consist of one or more of the following action:

- Performing mouth to mouth or some other type of artificial ventilation; performing CPR; performing the act of AED application and usage; performing an anti-choking maneuver; performing other life-saving first aid techniques; or the performance of an act involving quick thinking and decision-making that prevents others from being seriously injured or prevents the loss of life.

A simple narrative of the incident is submitted for review to the Becker County Safety Committee, from any employee or resident of Becker County or any emergency responder present during the incident.