Life-saving Award Goes to Williams Man

Bemidji Pioneer

Submitted by Cindy Olson

Beltrami Sheriff Phil Hodapp and Roger.

Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp surprised Williams resident Roger Huerd by presenting him with a life-saving award Saturday, April 4, at the Westwind Restaurant in Waskish.

The award stems from an incident that took place Jan. 1, 2009, in Konig Township. Huerd, a paramedic with Blackduck Ambulance, had completed an ambulance shift that morning before going to Bemidji. He was on his way home when he heard a call go out for ambulance assistance after an accident with a front-end loader.

At the time, Huerd was about four miles north of Waskish. When he realized he was near the scene of the accident he turned around and went back. The roads were bad that day and he arrived at the accident site ahead of other first responders. Huerd declined to talk about the specifics of the accident, but Jesse Jenson, 16, of Waskish, had been crushed under the loader. Jenson’s father, John, acting quickly, had already gotten the young man from under the machinery before Huerd arrived.

Huerd said he provided care to the boy, calmed him down, took some vitals and within ten minutes other first responders were already arriving. Jenson was taken by ambulance, with Huerd continuing care, as far as Busy Corner where a medical helicopter met the crew and flew Jenson to a hospital in Bemidji. Huerd said Jenson is now doing well. “It’s just remarkable what this young man has been through,” he said.

Huerd’s award reads, in part, “… the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office hereby recognizes the heroic actions taken by the First Responders and awards this life-saving certificate to Roger Huerd.”

Other first-responders including those from Kelliher and Waskish, as well as Blackduck Ambulance were sited in the awards presentation held during a fundraiser at the Westwind in Waskish. Heard said he was just doing what he was trained to do; he just happened to be the first on the scene. “But everybody had a hand in this,” he said of the care given to Jenson. “They got a little carried away giving this to me.”

Huerd, a diesel mechanic at Marvin Windows for 35 years, first took a first-responder course in 1995. He followed the original course with basic EMT training, becoming an emergency medical technician, and then took paramedic training at Ottertail, Minn. in 2004.


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