Summit County Sheriff’s Office deputies awarded medals for saving a motorist’s life
David Beukelman is still alive today due to the heroism and professionalism of two Summit County sheriff’s deputies with assistance from paramedics and bystanders. Deputies Mariah Kroschel and Ryan Hosier were awarded the Life Saving Medal on Friday for their actions in September that brought Beukelman back from the brink of death.
During the late afternoon of September 20, Kroschel was on routine road patrol down Highway 6 just west of Keystone when she was flagged down by a couple of Keystone grounds crew workers, Brighton Hall and Girma Green. Kroschel stopped and observed that a car was stopped at the side of the highway. Inside the car, Beukelman was unconscious and no longer in control of the vehicle while his wife Helen was unharmed in the passenger seat.
One of the workers had managed to get the door open and press on the brake pedal to prevent it from rolling forward. When Kroschel approached, the worker released the brake and the car started to roll forward into traffic. In her report, Kroschel said she jumped into the car, pressed the brake and put the vehicle into park. With that immediate danger averted, Kroschel was tasked with assessing Beukelman’s condition.
Beukelman had suffered a heart attack while driving, and it had rendered him unconscious. Kroschel checked Beukelman for a pulse, but she did not find one. If such things could be measured, Beukelman was probably inches from death.
Kroschel called for backup while one of the workers helped her get Beukelman out of the car so she could start CPR. While doing chest compressions, Kroschel directed a worker to get a portable defibrillator from her cruiser’s trunk. Another deputy, Ryan Hosier, then arrived and took over CPR for Kroschel while she prepped the defibrillator to shock Beukelman’s heart back to a normal rhythm.
A bystander and off-duty paramedic, Eric Turner, approached the scene and volunteered to help the deputies. Turner helped stabilize Beukelman’s head while he was being given CPR.
Kroschel then administered a shock, sending 3,000 volts into Beukelman’s chest. In an instant, David Beukelman was breathing and back among the living. Paramedics then arrived and stabilized Beukelman. The whole incident played out within a few minutes.
Kroschel and Hosier were formally honored for their heroic actions with the Life Saving Medal by Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons at a ceremony that took place at Lake Dillon Station 8 on Friday.
The office’s criteria for a life saving medal is “saving a life by an action that if not performed, would beyond a reasonable doubt have resulted in the death of a person.”
In addition to the medals, FitzSimons awarded the 13 other emergency personnel, paramedics and bystanders who assisted the deputies with a commendation.
A Sheriff’s Commendation is awarded to citizens or employees who “maintain composure when confronted with a highly volatile situation and continue to perform well in accordance with acceptable standards of conduct or, for an act of selfless conduct by an employee or citizen during a time of crisis or emergency.”
“It is my great pleasure to honor these two deputies and first responders in our organizations who give their all every day in serving and protecting our community,” FitzSimons said in a press release. “These deputies used the skills they receive from training and immediately began working to save a life. I am so very proud of deputy Kroschel and Hosier for their life saving actions.”
Kroschel said she’ll never forget the moment Beukelman started breathing again.
“It’s one of those moments I’ll never forget in my life,” Kroschel said. “It was absolutely incredible when he started breathing again. It’s nice to work in a community where everybody supports us, and I’ll never forget that moment or that day.”
Hosier was also deeply moved by the experience.
“It’s a pretty amazing feeling, being part of bringing someone back to life,” Hosier said. “It was a team effort on everybody’s part, and I’m happy to have a small part in it.”
Aside from Kroschel and Hosier, the 13 other commendation recipients were Keystone Emergency Services officers Kim Sapp and Miguel Arias; Keystone grounds crew employees Brighton Hall and Girma Green; batallion chief Shawn Sawyer, Lt. Kevin Skaer, engineer Frank Towers, paramedic August Guettlein, firefighter/EMT Talon Edwards from Summit Fire and E.M.S.; paramedics George Rohwer, Erin Cronin and Austin Wingate from Summit County Ambulance; and Eric Turner, the off-duty paramedic who rendered assistance to the deputies.
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