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Paynesville Press - January 12, 2005

State troopers receive lifesaving awards

By Bonnie Jo Hanson

Minnesota State Troopers Jerome Feigum of Paynesville and Dean Afinson of Spicer were honored with lifesaving awards - for thwarting a suicide attempt - from the Minnesota State Highway Patrol last week in Paynesville.

award In December 2003, Feigum and Afinson responded separately to a report of an occupied car on the side of Highway 71 north of Belgrade.

Minnesota State Troopers Jerome Feigum of Paynesville (right) and Dean Afinson of Spicer (left) received lifesaving awards last week from Lieutenant Tom Schmitz of the Minnesota State Highway Patrol.

The first to respond, Afinson noticed a drop of blood on the woman in the car, who claimed to have a headache and wanted to rest before she drove any further.

An inspection of the woman's car by Feigum revealed a bloody knife, which was later revealed to have been used by the woman in a suicide attempt.

Because of the officer's persistance, because of their unwillingness to leave before they knew she was OK as she insisted, and because of their quick response with first aid and calling for emergency help, the woman lived, according to Lieutenant Tom Schmitz, who presented the officers with State Patrol Lifesaving Awards during a ceremony at Paynesville City Hall last week.

"It's a good example of being observant and teamwork," added Captain Al Kutz. "Their persistence paid off."

Feigum - who has worked for the Minnesota State Patrol for nine years and lives with his wife Brenda and family in Paynesville - recorded his first save with this incident.

In addition to awards from the state, the officers were also presented with lifesaving awards from North Memorial Hospital, where both officers received their emergency medical training.

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