ROSEVILLE, Minn. — Getting stronger together is the main goal at Timberwolf Crossfit in Roseville.
"This isn't like a big corporate gym by any means, we know everybody that comes in and out," South St. Paul police sergeant Mike Dahl said.
Dahl is a regular, and sometimes even coaches classes at Timberwolf. Timberwolf is the kind of gym where some people even bring their dogs — a real family vibe.
That's also one of the many reasons Sara Vermilyea said she loves the gym. She said she's made so many of her friends there, and even met her fiance while working out.
"My parents were some those people who have seen it — just how important health is and fitness," Vermilyea said. "So about a year ago, they both decided to join."
Last Thursday, Sara said her family was taking a class together. Dahl was working out on his own near the back, as he said he usually does before his shifts.
"Everything was totally fine and then my dad was walking back towards the wall where we were doing wall-sits and he kind of knelt down and he took a knee," Vermilyea said.
"All of sudden, I saw one of our members on the floor," Dahl said, referring to Vermilyea's father, Pat. "And someone said he isn't breathing, so I jumped right in — didn't even think about it."
"[I] started doing chest compressions and thank God the owners here have an AED on site, which is very important," Dahl continued. "[I] asked someone to grab that for me."
"He sort came out of nowhere and he just really quick to take control of the situation," Vermilyea added.
She said Dahl even assigned people specific roles, like checking the pulse, making sure the path was clear for the EMTs to come inside.
"Right place, right time, my training just kind of kicked in," Dahl explained. "Just what we do everyday, so I'm very happy I could be in that position for Pat."
Dahl said this isn't the first time he's had to administer CPR in an emergency medical situation. However, he said this was the first time his CPR attempt successfully saved a life. He said he does not take that lightly.
As for Vermilyea's father, he is recovering at the hospital, but in good spirits. She said doctors don't suspect it was a heart attack, but a sudden cardiac death — a situation in which the heart just stops beating unexpectedly.
She said her father has had heart issues before, including a triple bypass several years ago, but had been symptom-free and healthy since then.
Vermilyea said she's just glad Dahl was there to make sure her father was going to be around for some really big moments next year.
"I'm getting married in May, and my sister is also getting married next year," she said. "He gave us that gift of my dad being there."
Watch more local news:
Watch the latest local news from the Twin Cities in our YouTube playlist: