An off-duty Minnesota police officer credited his training for saving a man who suffered a cardiac arrest while working out at a gym.
According to a Facebook post released by the South St. Paul Police Department, Sergeant Michael Dahl was working out at the Timberwolf Crossfit gym while off duty on October 20 when a fellow patron suddenly collapsed due to cardiac arrest.
“Yesterday afternoon, Sergeant 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 post read.
Dahl, who occasionally teaches classes at the gym, was working out when he saw the situation unfold.
The victim was exercising with his daughter when the incident occurred.
“Everything was totally fine and then my dad was walking back toward the wall where we were doing wall-sits and he kind of knelt down and he took a knee,”
Sara Vermilyea recalled.
Dahl said he didn’t hesitate to rush in and help.
“So I jumped right in — didn’t even think about it,” he said.
Dahl took control of the situation and was able to successfully apply an AED.
“[I] started doing chest compressions and, thank God, the owners here have an AED [automated external defibrillator] on site, which is very important,” Dahl said. “[I] asked someone to grab that for me.”
Vermilyea credited Dahl with making sure everything was being done to save her father Pat’s life. He even cleared a path for EMTs and had someone check Pat’s pulse.
“He sort came out of nowhere and he just really quick to take control of the situation,” Vermilyea said.
St. Paul Police Chief Brian Wicke said Dahl administered an electric shock with the AED that was successful before EMTs took over.
“Without hesitation, Sergeant Dahl began CPR on this individual while seeking out an AED. 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 toward a full recovery,” Chief Wicke wrote.
Vermilyea told 11 Alive News that her father suffered from “sudden cardiac death,” when the heart unexpectedly stops beating.
She also thanked Dahl for giving her and her sister the “gift of my dad” so he can attend their upcoming weddings.
After the heroic act, Dahl reported for duty to work that very same night’s shift. “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 Dahl, it is simply another day,” Wicke wrote.
“My training just kind of kicked in,” Dahl recalled. “Just what we do every day, so I’m very happy I could be in that position for Pat.”