Northland State Troopers, Officers Honored for Heroic Acts

Several Minnesota State Troopers and officers in the Northland were honored in the Twin Cities Thursday for going above and beyond the call of duty. 

The Minnesota State Patrol hosted it’s annual ceremony to recognize citizens, troopers and other public servants that saved the lives of others in Minnesota in 2015. 

Minnesota State Patrol Commendation Award: 

Deputy Russel French, with the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office, and citizen Jay Tyrrell were recognized at Thursday’s ceremony for working together to save a child’s life on July 21, 2015.  Deputy French arrived on a crash scene on Highway 210 and met Jay, who told him there were a number of people injured in a vehicle, with the most serious being a child, who was unresponsive and was suffering from life-threatening injuries.  Jay used a blade to cut the car seat’s straps so Deputy French could remove the little girl from the car.  Realizing time was critical, Deputy French transported the girl in his own squad to meet an ambulance that was still ten minutes from the scene.  Jay maintained the child’s airway as French drove.  The deputy’s quick thinking and Jay’s actions were critical in saving the child’s life.

Life Saving Award:

Sergeant Mike Hagen, with the Minnesota State Patrol out of Duluth, and Deputy Joseph Mishler and Sergeant Daniel Kunz of the Pine County Sheriff’s Office were awarded the Life Saving Award.   Sergeant Hagen responded to a hit and run on May 15, 2015 involving multiple vehicles, with the suspect fleeing into a pond.  Hagen, along with Mishler and Kunz, began talking with the suspect, who threatened them with a knife.  The suspect then cut himself with the knife and attempted to drown himself.  He became lethargic and was no longer talking.  Mishler and Hagen entered the water to assist him.  As he moved closer to the officers, Kunz threw a rope around him, allowing the others to pull him from the water, take him into custody and get him first aid.  Their actions ultimately saved his life.

Trooper Jonathon Carlson, State Patrol, Duluth

Trooper Carlson helped save the life of a 12-year-old boy was struck by lightning on June 28, 2015.  Carlson found the boy unconscious on the driving range at the Enger Park Golf Course.  A bystander, who identified himself as an off-duty firefighter, was giving CPR by chest compressions.  Trooper Carlson attached his AED and provided CPR until the Duluth Fire Department and ambulance arrived to take over.  The boy regained a pulse on scene and was transported to the hospital.  Trooper Carlson’s quick actions contributed to the boy’s survival and recovery.


Trooper David Koski, of Virginia, was off duty on the morning of September 17 when he noticed a suspicious vehicle going into the driveways of neighboring homes.  Koski followed the car and watched it pull into another driveway and back up to a garage.  Koski pulled into the driveway, got the plate number, reported it and backed about 50 feet down the road. That’s when the suspect accelerated out of the driveway towards him, striking his door and pushing his car into a ditch.   A short time later, a St. Louis County deputy located the stolen vehicle.  The man was arrested later that afternoon.  To keep his neighbors safe, Trooper Koski put his own life in danger and went above the call of duty. 


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