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Citizen Heroes Use CPR To Save Friend

December 13, 2013, 9:55 PM by Jared Ransom

Citizen Heroes Use CPR To Save Friend

Dawn Conrad is standing with her friends and family happy and healthy, but one night just two months ago, things could've been much worse.

"We went down to a football game in Irene and we had a good time and everything seemed normal," Paul King said.

It was on the way home when the evening went from full of fun to full of fear.

"I was sitting in the back seat and Dawn was sitting next to me, and I felt her fall against my shoulders," Bill Palmer said.

"Turned around and noticed it was Dawn and she seemed to be just gasping for air like she was, almost like she was having a seizure," Dave Mesz said.

Dawn suffered sudden cardiac arrest, but there was no sense of panic from Paul King, Bill Palmer and Dave Mesz. They quickly pulled over, got Dawn out of the car and immediately started CPR, something all three men learned years ago.

"I just knew a couple things. I knew that once I started, I couldn't stop until responders got there. That was my biggest concern, and that three minutes seemed like a half hour," Mesz said.

"The next thing I knew, I woke up in the hospital and I thought 'Where am I?' I thought maybe we were in an accident," Dawn Conrad said.

Dawn says that if not for the quick thinking of her three friends, she would not be alive today.

"There's not a day that goes by that we talk about it a lot, still. It just made our friendship a lot closer," Palmer said.

"We did as much as we could as well as we could," King said.

In the eyes of Sioux Falls Fire Rescue, and even more so to Dawn, these men are heroes and their actions will never be forgotten.

"I'm not a hero by any means. I did what needed to be done to help my friend out," Mesz said.

"It's because of their quick response and working together as a team. They are truly my heroes," Conrad said.

Dawn says it is hard to find the perfect way to say thank you to the friends who saved her life, and the Citizen Hero Award is a small way of expressing her gratitude.

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