Man recognized for quick thinking, action to save another man’s life

Published 5:49 am Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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An Albert Lea man is being recognized as a hero for performing what first responders have called life-saving efforts on another man who collapsed in December.

Albert Lea Police Department Sgt. Steve Charboneau presented a Lifesaving Award Monday in front of the Albert Lea City Council to resident Danny Martinez for his efforts with resident Robert Scrabeck. 

“This award is a testament to the individuals we have in our community and the care that they have for each other,” Charboneau, noting there was no surprise that Martinez was getting the recognition, as he is very involved in the community. 

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Charboneau said on Dec. 11 at 1:43 p.m. officers were dispatched to Youth For Christ for a man who had fainted. 

Martinez, who had stopped at nearby Jake’s Pizza and then had stopped at Youth for Christ to get something to drink, saw Scrabeck fall to the ground and then turn blue, and he immediately began applying chest compressions. 

When officers arrived, Martinez was on his knees applying chest compressions. Charboneau said responders worked on Scrabeck for quite some time, with CPR and external defibrillator shocks, and he was ultimately transported to the hospital, where he spent 38 days. 

The police sergeant said Martinez’s actions were instrumental in saving Scrabeck’s life, noting that research shows that immediate CPR can double, if not triple, a victim’s chance for survival.

“God saved me that day through Danny,” Scrabeck said. “He knew Danny would keep me alive. I was gone. I didn’t know anything until I woke up in the ER.” 

Scrabeck said his son, who is a paramedic in Colorado, told him if it hadn’t been for the compressions Martinez applied, he likely would not have survived. 

“I don’t know what God has for me to do, but obviously he’s not done with me because I could have been any other place and I wouldn’t have had somebody like Danny there,” he said. 

He said he was thankful for people like Martinez who step out of their comfort zone to help others and also thanked the first responders who aided him that day.