Payson / Hanson Receive Honors
Jacob Payson and Cameron Hanson received Life Saving Awards from Sheriff Barry Fitzgibbons and a Civilian Life Saving Medal-the highest honor-from Fergus Falls Fire Chief Ryan Muchow. The men rescued a man by jumping into open water on a frozen lake in frigid weather and brought him to awaiting EMS on shore. The two men were presented the awards at the January 8th County Board of Commissioners Meeting in Fergus Falls.
The award stated: “On December 6, 2018 at approximately 10:30 pm, the Otter Tail County Dispatch Center received a call of a person and a 4-wheeler in the water on Wall Lake. Emergency services were dispatched to the area. Upon arrival, Otter Tail County Deputies and members of the Fergus Falls Fire Department located Cameron Hanson and Jacob Payson on a 4-wheller holding onto a 65-year-old male that had been in the water. The victim was unable to move or speak due to severe hypothermia. It was learned that the male victim had driven the 4-wheeler into open water. Cameron and Jacob saw this happen and went to help. Cameron jumped into the frigid water and was able to grab the male victim and pull him to the edge of the ice. Jacob grabbed the male and with the help of Cameron, got him up and onto the ice. The victim was brought to the boat access, where Otter Tail County Deputies, Fergus Falls Firefighters and Ringdahl Ambulance staff cared for him. He was then transported by ambulance to Lake Region Hospital for continued treatment.”
“The actions Cameron Hanson and Jacob Payson took were directly responsible for the rescue of the male victim,” read Barry Fitzgibbons, Otter Tail County Sheriff, “Both Cameron and Jacob disregarded their own personal safety and took this action despite the cold-water temperatures and the extreme risk it presented to their own lives.
The life savers received a standing ovation and many heartfelt thanks from the victim’s family and emergency services personnel as well as law enforcement officers. Otter Tail County Commissioners thanked the gentleman for their life saving efforts and congratulated them on their awards.
Ryan Muchow stated, “Without their life saving efforts there would have been a different outcome.”
Thank you, Jacob and Cameron, for your bravery.