“I was Dead, so I Can’t Tell You Anything”

On 27 October 2012, something important happened to Dennis Brekke, age 66, at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, but he does not remember it. He said, “I was dead, so I can’t tell you anything.” His wife, Janet Brekke, knows what happened. They were selling flashlights, and Dennis decided to take a break: He then suffered a massive heart attack. Two St. Paul police officers — Garaad Sahal and Derrick Herling — helped him, and Mr. Sahal gave him CPR. Mr. Sahal had just graduated from the police academy about two weeks earlier on October 4. Janet said about Dennis, “He would have been gone; there’s no question in my mind.” St. Paul Police Chief Thomas Smith gave the two police officers and some other people awards on 16 April 2013 and said, “Ordinary people do extraordinary things to make this city just a great place. Great police officers, great citizens.” In August 2012, St. Paul police commander Dave Korus came to the rescue of Gary Veenstra, age 64, who collapsed at the Minnesota Vikings’ first preseason game at the Metrodome. Commander Korus said, “Mr. Veenstra dropped right in front of me. I saw him go down like a ton of bricks.” Commander Korus recommends that everyone learn CPR. Mr. Veenstra said, “If it wasn’t for his quick work, I wouldn’t here. I owe him my life.”

For Further Information: Mara H. Gottfried, “Awards go to St. Paul cops who saved lives, civilians who nabbed burglars.” Pioneer Press (Saint Paul, Minnesota). 16 April 2013


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