EAGAN, Minn. (WCCO) – Two Minnesota state troopers who were the first to arrive at the scene of some pretty bad accidents were honored today.
Both were presented with State Patrol Lifesaving Award.
“It’s humbling but it’s what we do,” said Lt. Joe Dwyer. “It’s our job.”
Lt. Joe Dwyer says he’s not a hero, just a public servant who relied on his training to save a life.
“All of a sudden I saw a vehicle in my traffic lane,” Dwyer said.
It was May 19th of last year when Dwyer was almost hit by a wrong way driver.
He was northbound on Highway 169 in Mille Lacs County, and immediately turned around and hit his emergency lights.
Seconds later, he witnessed the car crashing head on into another vehicle.
From the dash camera video you can see how Dwyer jumped into action.
“I noticed that he wasn’t breathing,” said Dwyer. “I knew that I had to open up his airway.”
Dwyer did just that, and held the driver until paramedics arrived.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” said Sgt. Jesse Grabow.
Grabow helped save a women who had an epileptic seizure while driving on I-94 near Alexandria.
“The vehicle I happened to be behind drives off the interstate, off the road and into the median,” Grabow said.
From there the car vaulted into Lake Latoka.
Grabow dove in to help, only to realize the driver was unresponsive. The car was sinking, and her doors were locked.
With the help of another trooper and a passing motorist, they were able to pull the unconscious woman to safety.
Grabow says he just happened to be in the right place at the right time to help save a life.
Both Troopers say they did not help save lives for awards or recognition.
They consider it an honor to serve and protect the people of Minnesota.
A third Trooper, Sgt. Kevin Vacura, was also honored for saving two lives in Red Wing.