Cousins receive OCSO Life Saver Award

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(ABC 6 News) – The Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office once again honored heroes at Thursday’s awards ceremony.

Several individuals were presented with the Life Saving Award for their actions, including two cousins who worked together to save an elderly man’s life. On the morning of June 8, 2023, Elgin Fire Department responded to a structure fire, when the homeowner lost consciousness from smoke inhalation.

“All of a sudden we heard a scream come from the deck, and the homeowner had collapsed of a heart attack,” said Elgin Fire Chief Dustin Wehrs.

It’s not often when responding to fires his department is also tasked with saving a person.

“It’s a pretty crazy moment. You don’t expect to be put in that situation and obviously your training takes over and you just handle the situation, but you definitely think about it,” said Wehrs.

As Wehrs and his team worked to resuscitate the man, more first responders arrived from the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office. One of these responders was Wehrs’ cousin, Deputy Sheriff Tyler Heiden.

“I placed my AED on him, and we shocked him twice and brought him back to life,” said Heiden.

With all the chaos at the scene, Wehrs and Heiden didn’t realize at first their cousin was also responding.

“We looked up at one time we were like ‘holy cow, I can’t believe we’re here together doing this,’ so it was pretty special moment,” said Heiden.

After the man was taken to St. Marys Hospital, Elgin Fire continued to check on his recovery.

“When we last saw him, he was conscious and alert and was able to talk, so we had a pretty good feeling that things were going to go well for him,” said Wehrs.

Both Wehrs and Heiden were honored to be recognized by the Sheriff’s Office for their heroic actions that day.

“It’s really humbling. It’s awesome that the Sheriff’s Office does this, and it just shows how much they care for us,” said Heiden.

The Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office holds this award ceremony every year to honor exceptional members of their department and others who work selflessly to help others in their community. The lucky ones even get to save lives.