LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – The Wisconsin Safety Council honored two UW-La Crosse Campus Police Officers, one professor, and two students at the Cartwright Center on Wednesday.
Officers David Pehl and Leandra Batien, professor Michelle Pinzl, and freshmen students Eric Schepp and Peter Velikanov were honored with the Extraordinary Personal Action Award for their quick, courageous life-saving acts.
On January 26th in Eagle Hall, Velikanov’s roommate was going through cardiac arrest. “It seemed like he was having a seizure. I came to him to try and shake him out of it or try to do something to get his conscious back,” Velikanov said.
Both Velikanov, Schepp and Batien took immediate action. “My immediate reaction was to just stay calm and focus on the situation. I was just really focused and knew I had to do whatever I could to help him. I think I stayed pretty calm throughout the whole situation and kind of took control of it,” Schepp said.
It was because of Schepp, Velikanov, and Batien that this former UW-La Crosse student, who wishes to remain anonymous, continues to walk around healthy today.
“The importance of proper CPR and AED training is to prepare yourself for the moment when that happens, when that call comes in and you’re asked to render aid to somebody who is no longer breathing, and may not have a pulse,” Wisconsin Safety Council Director Janie Ritter said.
Schepp and Velikanov both agree with Ritter, and both say receiving recognition is gratifying.
“It means a lot because to save a life is one of the most important things you can do,” Velikanov said.
“I’m definitely very thankful to help save their life,” Schepp said.
Schepp and Velikanov recommend that people receive CPR and AED training, because “you’ll never know when someone is going to need your help”.
Pinzl and Pehl were honored on Wednesday after helping save professor David Phipp’s life in September. Phipps collapsed during a lecture, and he said he is “grateful” and “I wouldn’t be here” if it wasn’t for both Pinzl and Pehl’s assistance.
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