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CPR, defibrillator save man who collapsed in Mitchell

Early intervention and police training may have saved a man’s life Thursday in Mitchell, according to law enforcement sources.

A man collapsed at the construction site just north of Menards around 8:30 a.m., said Lyndon Overweg, Mitchell’s chief of public safety. A Mitchell ambulance and police were dispatched to the scene.

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When Officer Dan Fechner arrived, co-workers of the man were performing CPR.

Fechner removed an automatic external defibrillator, or AED, from his patrol car and attached it to the man. The AED detected an irregular heart rhythm and administered a shock.

The ambulance soon arrived and transported the victim to Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell. He was later transported to a Sioux Falls hospital.

“He was last known to have a steady heartbeat and was breathing at the hospital,” Overweg said Thursday afternoon.

He declined to release the man’s name.

He praised the early CPR from the co-workers and Fechner’s quick response with the AED. He said AEDs are in each patrol car, and every officer is trained to use them.

“He immediately went to it,” Overweg said of Fechner. “He did a great job.”

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