St. Louis County honors lifesavers
Steve Mostad said the rain was falling so hard at times that morning in May that it was hard to see the road. Mostad, in his job as a public works road supervisor for St. Louis County, was checking County Road 84 northwest of Chisholm when he not...
Steve Mostad said the rain was falling so hard at times that morning in May that it was hard to see the road.
Mostad, in his job as a public works road supervisor for St. Louis County, was checking County Road 84 northwest of Chisholm when he noticed skid marks leading off the roadway.
Mostad, a 34-year county employee, looked closer and saw a small car overturned in the water-filled ditch. He ran down the steep embankment and found a young woman, injured and confused, lying in the water in the upside down car.
"She said her head and neck hurt and she wasn't quite sure what had happened. ... I told her to grab my arm and I pulled her out," Mostad told the News Tribune today in Duluth.
Mostad was one of three St. Louis County residents who earned the county's "911 Lifesaver Award" today in recognition for heroic actions. It was the second round of Lifesaver awards given this year.
Mostad said it appeared the young woman lost control of her car during one of several downpours that morning, the car rolled over down the embankment and ended up upside down in shallow water. While she wasn't under water, Mostad said the soaked and injured woman may not have been able to get out of the car on her own. No one knows if anyone else might have noticed her car in the deep ditch on that dark and rainy morning of May 22.
"I think she might have got hypothermia pretty bad if I didn't get her out of there," Mostad said.
A St. Louis County Sheriff's deputy and first responders arrived quickly on the scene and rushed the girl to the Hibbing hospital, where she was treated for injuries and released. Mostad said he never got to meet the young woman or even find out her full name. She was identified in the incident report as Katarina Chandler, 19, of Mountain Iron.
Mostad said he still feels that he did what anyone else would do in the same situation.
But St. Louis County Sheriff Ross Litman disagrees, saying Mostad's "immediate response and disregard for his own safety and comfort, and the caring and reassuring demeanor he exhibited after the event, are undeniable testimony to his character and integrity."
Litman also presented awards to Hermantown resident Ron Bodell and Hermantown police Sgt. Mark Gunderson for their effort at performing lifesaving CPR on Bodell's father, Robert. Ron Bodell found his dad slumped over and incoherent in his home June 12. He called 911 and began to perform CPR chest compressions. Sgt. Gunderson, a former hockey player at the University of Minnesota Duluth and Denfeld High School, arrived and also began CPR until Hermantown Fire Department first responders and Gold Cross Ambulance arrived.
Robert Bodell eventually regained a pulse and began breathing on his own.
"Sadly, Robert Bodell passed away two weeks later from complications from pneumonia. However, the combined efforts of his son, 911 Dispatch, Sgt. Gunderson, the Hermantown First Responders and Gold Cross Ambulance gave Mr. Bodell's family additional time to spend with him before he passed away," Litman said in presenting the awards.
"Too often we hear stories of people who look the other way when help is needed," Litman said in a statement on the awards. "We think it's important to recognize those who step forward -- and in some cases literally jump in to help -- even at risk to their own safety. ... In these instances, besides the individuals being recognized, there was a passerby, other deputies, 911 operators, first responders, paramedics and other emergency personnel who all played a role in saving lives."