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“Right Place, Right Time.” Off-Duty Cop Leaps Into Action To Save Man’s Life At Gym.

Pat Vermilyea with his wife and daughter Sara

Pat Vermilyea can’t wait to see both of his daughters get married next year – especially after the scare that he just went through.

Sara Vermilyea chose the Timberwolf CrossFit gym in Roseville, Minnesota because it has a small, family feel. Everyone knows each other, and it’s a friendly and supportive place to stay active. After her father, Pat, had heart trouble a year ago, Sara convinced both her parents to join the gym, too.

Recently, Sara and her parents were at the gym taking a class. As they broke off to do individual workouts, she saw her father suddenly stop and take a knee. They didn’t know it at the time, but Pat had suffered a sudden cardiac death, which happens when the heart suddenly stops beating. Sara rushed to her father’s side, but someone else got there first – Mike Dahl, a sergeant with the South St. Paul Police Department.

Sgt. Dahl was working out before his shift, as he often does, when he saw Pat fall to his knees. When someone said Pat wasn’t breathing, his training took over, and he immediately took control of the scene.

“He sort came out of nowhere and he just really quick to take control of the situation,” Sara recalls.

The off-duty cop immediately assigned roles to bystanders, instructing specific people to call 911, clear a path for the EMTs, check Pat’s pulse, and most importantly, bring him the club’s automated external defibrillator (AED) device.

Meanwhile, Sgt. Dahl started doing chest compressions, keeping Pat’s heart beating until help arrived. Pat was taken to the hospital, where he was revived and is now recovering.

While this isn’t the first time the officer administered CPR, it is the first time his efforts saved a life. He’s just grateful that he happened to be in the gym when Pat had his emergency.

“Right place, right time, my training just kind of kicked in,” said Sgt. Dahl. “Just what we do every day, so I’m very happy I could be in that position for Pat.”

Sara and her family are overjoyed to have more time with their patriarch, especially since she and her sister boy have weddings planned for 2023. They realize that if it weren’t for Sgt. Dahl, Pat might not have been there next year to walk them down the aisle.

“He gave us that gift of my dad being there,” she said.

A hero’s job is never done, even when he’s just trying to sneak in a workout! We’re so glad Sgt. Dahl was there to save Pat’s life, and we hope there’s a hero like him nearby if we ever need one.

Don’t forget to share this story to thank Sgt. Dahl for his heroic actions.

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