Two Wadena Police officers were recently recognized for their efforts in administering CPR to help save or prolong the life of others. A new recognition program, the Heart Saver Award goes to city staff that administer CPR in an effort to restore a heartbeat.

Officer Nick Grabe, a 15-year veteran of the Wadena Police Department, was given the award during the Jan. 14 council meeting for his work in helping to keep an individual alive for the transport to the hospital on New Year's Day.

Officer Aron Schiller, in his second year on the Wadena Police Department, assisted in a different call to an unresponsive person in the Wadena Industrial Park. He alongside Verndale Firefighter John Rousslang, helped save a life.

Officer Aaron Schiller
Officer Aaron Schiller

Wadena Chief of Police Naomi Plautz said the recognition was brought forth by Wadena City Administrator Janette Bower in an effort to recognize the life savings skills that these members of law enforcement put to use often.

"We help with CPR all the time," Plautz said. Those actions, however, are rarely recorded. Plautz said it's just part of the job.

Plautz heard from Schiller that Rousslang did an impressive job of handling the situation, which prompted Plautz to also recognize Rousslang by sending a letter to Verndale Mayor Raye Ludovissie and Verndale Fire Chief Mike Madsen.

"All CPRs are dramatic," Plautz said. While most calls they respond to are dramatic, assisting in saving a life is a special event.

While this is the first time officers have been recognized like this, Plautz noted that in the past she has written letters recognizing their exemplary work but it's not a public recognition.

Tri-County Health Care's EMS will be hosting the 33rd annual EMS Night on March 10 from 5-9 p.m. at M State. This event traditionally recognizes area EMS members for their efforts in saving lives.