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Heroes Truly Walk Among Us

By Staff | Aug 26, 2010

Award Honorees - Emmetsburg Police Officers Brian Mehan, Darin Adams, Seth Nelson and Sergeant Ryan Veldboom, from left to right, were honored this past Monday night with Life Saving Medals during a meeting of the Emmetsburg City Council. Emmetsburg City Administrator John Bird, seated left, and Mayor John Schad, seated right, liisten as the officers were thanked for their service to the community and the residents of the City of Emmetsburg By Police Chief Eric Hanson. -- Dan Voigt photo

“Everybody has heroes – these guys are my heroes.”

There were tears, smiles, hugs and applause as four Emmetsburg Police Officers were presented with Lifesaving Awards during a special presentation at the Emmetsburg City Council meeting Monday, Aug.23. Police Chief Eric Hanson introduced each of the officers and explained the circumstances that brought about their heroic efforts to a standing-room only crowd in the council chambers of City Hall.

“In late 2004, early 2005, Sheryl Darling, our Emergency Medical Services Coordinator for the Palo Alto County Hospital, and others in the county, started a fundraising drive to obtain Automated Emergency Defibrillator devices, AED’s, throughout the county,” Hanson explained. “Their efforts made it possible to obtain grant funding and eventually, 29 AED units were placed throughout the county, in all our patrol units, the sheriff’s squad cars, in the schools, Iowa Lakes Community College and the Care Centers.”

The AED’s are a battery operated unit that, when connected to a person displaying symptoms of a heart attack, can evaluate the heart’s status, and, if need be, deliver an electrical shock to restart a stilled heart. Every law enforcement officer in the county is trained in the use of the devices, in the hopes that if the situation should arrive, they might be able to sustain the life of an individual until EMS personnel can arrive.

“While the officers all hope they won’t have to use the AED units, we have had three situations here in Emmetsburg where these units were used by our officers to save lives of citizens, and for that reason, we are here to honor those officers for their efforts and thank them,” Hanson noted.

Officers Seth Nelson and Sergeant Ryan Veldboom were the first to save a life