Life saving efforts

Recognition well-deserved: Left to right, Kaylee Eckman, Mike Cieniawski, Anita Boatright, Dustin Wynn, Todd Grothe, Abram Silbernagel, Robb Foreman and Kile Bergren received recognition for their efforts regarding a high school soccer player's collapse at a local soccer game. 

The Fergus Falls City Council honored those who helped a Melrose soccer player who collapsed at a match with the Fergus Falls Otters at Kennedy Secondary School. The 911 call was originated by athletic trainer Todd Grothe, who was also the one that initiated CPR on the boy.

Chief of Public Safety Kile Bergren said, “They all feel like they did nothing special, they do this every day, this is part of their job, they’re very happy to do their job, but I do think when you look at it from a community standpoint it was a very special evening. I think for a number of reasons, when you have a soccer game, the last thing you expect is a 17-year-old to have some kind of cardiac incident. Athletic trainer Todd Grothe is at all of these sporting events, and he was probably expecting to deal with someone who had a concussion, or something a little less severe. I think it’s through the community partnerships that we have with Lake Region Healthcare, with Ringdahl Ambulance, and with our school district that we had such a positive outcome that night. I’ll just say this too, for Anita and Dustin, both nurses, who were just spectators at the game, they observed when Todd dealing with a situation that escalated into a cardiac event, and officers Foreman, and Silbernagel, who were on duty that night and close to the game was taking place, so tonight we’d like to present these lifesaving awards to these individuals.’

Fergus Falls police assisted medical personnel in the incident, with Ringdahl Ambulance transporting the boy to Lake Region Healthcare initially, but eventually he was transferred to Sanford Health and is still recovering.

Awards were presented to Dustin Wynn, Todd Grothe, Anita Boatright, Mike Cieniawski, Kaylee Eckman, Robb Foreman, Abram Silbernagel and Kile Bergren.

Longtime firefighter and public works director, Len “Guy” Taylor, was honored for his 10 years of service with the Fergus Falls Fire Department. Taylor is not leaving his position with the city, but just retiring from fire service.

Other agenda items approved included a a required resolution to accompany the documents to receive state bonding funds for the Downtown Riverfront Project, a resolution was passed accepting Moore Engineering’s professional services agreement for final design and construction for the Union Avenue resurfacing project in the amount of $170,900.

The submission of an Airport Rescue Grant in the amount of $32,000 was approved. The funds are part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and includes a total of $8 billion in funds to be awarded as economic assistance to eligible U.S. airports to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A resolution accepting a reimbursement grant of $78,000, from the Minnesota DNR for Ferber Park was approved with a match of $26,000 from Pedal Fergus Falls with grants they received to assist with the funding. The entire project was $104,000. City finance director, Bill Sonmor said no city money was spent on the project.

Another resolution calling for the creation of a redevelopment TIF district was approved for the former Red River Mill site in downtown Fergus Falls. The required public hearing would be held Nov. 1, at 5:30 p.m. at City Council Chambers.

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