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Council recognizes local Menards manager for helping save life

Michael Chernick rendered aid to Pam Larson until police, fire personnel arrived

By Joseph Back

The Cottage Grove Council took time out at its Wednesday July 20 meeting to recognize Menards manager Michael Chernick for helping save the life of Pam Larson through quick thinking and following instructions from dispatch to provide help until emergency personnel could arrive. Cottage Grove Public Safety Director Pete Koerner read out the Citizen’s Life Saving award for Chernick and others present.

“On May 2, 2022, you were working at Menards in Cottage Grove when a customer collapsed after her heart stopped. You acted promptly by calling 911, taking instructions from the Washington County Communications Center on how to perform CPR, and provided chest compressions until police officers and firefighters arrived. Those actions were pivotal in saving her life. The victim was transported to hospital via ambulance and survived the incident. Because of your prompt action that evening you undoubtedly helped save her

See COUNCIL Page 2

Michael Chernick (center right) and Pam Larson (center) were among the guests of honor at an impromptu recognition ceremony at the Wednesday July 20 Cottage Grove City Council meeting. Chernick is a manager at Menards, helping save Larson’s life when she collapsed while shopping this past May 2. Surrounding Chernick and Larson are police and fire who responded to the call, with special mention for the May 2 rescue including the following: Washington County Telecommunications Supervisor Michelle Swenson, Officers Matt Sorgaard, Joe Pierre, Mackenzie Foster, Mike McClain, and Jude Morning. Fire fighters Brandon Ekren, Chelsey Flores, Jordan Barry and Fire Captain Peter Fischer. Image from Cottage Grove Minnesota Police Department Facebook page. COUNCIL

FROM PAGE 1 life. Your ability to stay calm and perform CPR quickly and efficiently are to be highly commended and are appreciated by the entire Cottage Grove City Council and Public Safety staff,” Koerner told Chernick. But while Chernick’s quick action and thinking helped save Larson’s life this past spring, he wasn’t the only one. The call and response was recounted by Koerner at the meeting.

“On May 2 at 5:50 p.m. while shopping at Menards, Pam collapsed after her heart stopped. Michael Chernick— he works at Menards—called 911 and spoke with Michelle… she was able to give him instructions and he was able to give chest compressions until officers arrived. Officers got there pretty quick, and were able to apply the AED (automatic external defibrillator) and continue to render aid. Shortly after that our firefighter paramedics arrived and they continued all those lifesaving efforts. Pam was transported to the hospital and amazingly within a week she was discharged,” Koerner related of the May EMS call.

Going on to note that the first minutes “are crucial,” the Cottage Grove Public Safety Director said that while many emergency responders would say they were ‘doing their job,’ it was more.

“They saved a life,” he said. “That’s more than just doing your job.” Going on to recognize each in turn among police and fire responders with the role they played, Koerner then read and presented the Citizen’s Life Saving Award to Chernick, appreciation being shown by all present.

July 27, 2022