Two Local Officers Recognized for Saving Lives In January Fire

Two Local Officers Recognized for Saving Lives In January Fire Click to Enlarge

DETROIT LAKES, MN--A Frazee Police Officer and a Becker County Deputy each receive Becker County's Lifesaver Award for their efforts rescuing a woman and child from a burning house last month. Becker County Sheriff Todd Glander presented the awards on behalf of Becker County Commissioners to Frazee Police Officer David Kumpula, who was not in attendance, and Becker County Deputy Matt Gerving who appeared at Tuesday's Becker County Board meeting.

The two were first on the scene the night of January 24th when the Becker County Sheriff's Office received the report of a house fire on the east side of Frazee with two people trapped inside at 10:44pm. The two arrived on scene around 10:46pm.

Sheriff Glander continued to read from a report about the few minutes it took officers to bring the two to safety:

“Both entered the home and found flames had engulfed the kitchen. They yelled at the occupants and a female voice responded. They could also hear a child crying. Gerving yelled and asked if the female and child could come to his voice, and the female responded they were unable to get to the officers because of the flames. Gerving and Kumpula exited the house and went to the back where they pounded on the windows. They could see the female and child through the windows. The officers broke the glass on a window. Deputy Gerving lifted a five-year-old child through the window opening and Officer Kumpula assisted a 59-year-old female through the window. The time was now 10:49 pm. The female and child were placed in a squad car until they received care from Frazee Rescue and St. Mary’s EMS. They both were transported to St. Mary’s Hospital with the adult female suffering burns to her feet.

Glander said the two officers’ immediate response was crucial to assisting the victims to safety in a situation that could have had a tragic outcome. The Sheriff recognized Deputy Gerving and Officer Kumpula for going above and beyond the call of duty and thanked them for their unwavering response.

Becker County Sheriff Todd Glander and Deputy Matt Gerving

Sheriff Glander with Frazee Police Officer David Kumpula

The Becker County Lifesaver Award is given for saving or attempting to save a life using modern life-saving techniques and/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 of Commissioners. The act may occur during time of employment or assisting an individual while off duty.

1. The act is submitted and documented to the Becker County Safety Director and Becker County Safety Committee within six months of occurrence.

2. The act would consist of one or more of the following action:

a. Performing mouth to mouth or some other type of artificial ventilation

b. Performing CPR

c. Performing the act of AED application and usage

d. Performing an anti-choking maneuver

e. Performing other life-saving first aid techniques

f. The performance of an act involving quick thinking and decision-making that prevents others from being seriously injured or prevents the loss of additional life.

A simple narrative of the incident is submitted for review to the Becker County Safety Committee. The committee using the above guidelines would make recommendation as to an individual receiving the award. The narrative may be submitted by any employee or citizen of Becker County or any emergency agency who may be present during the incident.

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