An off-duty Minnesota police officer is being heralded as a hero for helping save a man who collapsed while working out at a gym.
“Yesterday afternoon, Sgt. Michael Dahl was working out at a gym in the City of Roseville when another patron in this same gym suddenly collapsed to the ground in apparent cardiac arrest,” the South St. Paul Police Department wrote in a Facebook post on Oct. 21.
Dahl was at the Timberwolf Crossfit gym on Oct. 20, where he often works out and even teaches classes, according to 11 Alive. One woman was at the gym with her father when her dad collapsed and Dahl jumped into action.
“Everything was totally fine and then my dad was walking back towards the wall where we were doing wall-sits and he kind of knelt down and he took a knee,” Sara Vermilyea said.
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Dahl saw the man, Pat, and heard someone say he wasn’t breathing.
“So I jumped right in — didn’t even think about it,” he told the outlet.
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“[I] started doing chest compressions and thank God the owners here have an AED [automated external defibrillator] on site, which is very important,” Dahl continued. “[I] asked someone to grab that for me.”
Vermilyea said Dahl was integral to assigning roles to people in the gym to help her father, including making sure a path was cleared for EMTs and for someone to check Pat’s pulse.
“He sort came out of nowhere and he just really quick to take control of the situation,” Vermilyea said.
The chief of the South St. Paul Police Department said Dahl was able to get Pat’s heart beating again with his quick thinking.
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“Without hesitation, Sgt. Dahl began CPR on this individual while seeking out an AED. Sgt. Dahl was able to apply the AED, deliver a shock, and the patient regained spontaneous circulation (essentially his heart began beating again). Upon the arrival of Roseville Police and Fire, the patient was turned over to their care and the last we heard, was moving towards a full recovery,” Chief Brian Wicke wrote.
Vermilyea explained to 11 Alive that her father did not have a heart attack, but suffered from “sudden cardiac death” when the heart unexpectedly stops beating. She thanked Dahl for giving her and her sister the “gift of my dad” being able to attend their upcoming weddings.
After his heroism, Dahl left the gym and reported for duty to work the night shift, Wicke said.
“For most people, the circumstances I just described would be a once in a life event but for the men women who serve our communities daily, just like Sgt. Dahl, it is simply another day,” Wicke wrote.
To Dahl, he said it was a “right place, right time” situation.
“My training just kind of kicked in,” Dahl said. “Just what we do everyday, so I’m very happy I could be in that position for Pat.”
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