Governor recognizes four Coe College students at Lifesaving Awards Program

Extra: Kristy Staker, Public Relations Coordinator
(319) 399-8581 or

2011-08-18 09:44:40 - General

Four Coe classmates turned life savers with their quick emergency aid to classmate Sam Gordon '14 include (left to right): Jordan Oberbreckling '12, Kaitlin Mitchell '13, Emily Kleinmeyer '13 and Courtney Rogers '14. Gordon collapsed while working out in August 2010 and was resuscitated by the Coe students pictured.

Four Coe College students were honored at the Governor’s Lifesaving Awards Program held at the 2011 Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Recognized for their heroic actions by Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad, recipients from Coe included Courtney Rogers of Marion, Kaitlin Mitchell of Center Point, Jordan Oberbreckling of Wyoming, and Emily Kleinmeyer of Iowa City. These students were alongside 17 other heroes on stage who were all recognized in an emotional ceremony.

The Governor's Lifesaving Awards Ceremony recognizes citizens who helped a friend, family member or neighbor in critical need of assistance. There are four categories in which 26 different honorees were recognized in the 2011 program for their lifesaving action within the past year: lifesaving with valor, lifesaving, meritorious service and outstanding service.

The Lifesaving With Valor Award is presented to those persons who, while risking their own life, saved the lives of others. The Meritorious Service Award is presented to those individuals who have rendered expeditious service in a time of emergency. The Lifesaving Award is given to those who have saved the lives of others without apparent risk to their own life. The Outstanding Service Award is presented to persons who have performed a courageous act in an attempt to save an individual who was in danger of losing his or her life or an unselfish service rendered in time of emergency and not necessarily life threatening.

Rogers, Mitchell, Oberbreckling and Kleinmeyer were honored in two of these categories for an incident that occurred on August 30, 2010, when they collectively provided emergency aid for Coe student Samuel Gordon, a college freshman at the time.

Gordon had collapsed into unconsciousness on the Coe track after finishing a strenuous workout when the nearby students rushed to help.  Rogers and Mitchell freed Gordon from the bleachers and placed him on the running track. They then lifted the moveable bleachers out of the way, and Rogers called 911.

Noticing that Gordon was turning blue, Kleinmeyer checked for a pulse and breathing. She immediately began to perform chest compressions, while Oberbreckling began mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing.  After 2-3 cycles of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), Gordon regained consciousness.  EMS arrived within minutes and transported him to the hospital. After three days in the hospital, Gordon was released after miraculously making a complete and full recovery.

Rogers and Mitchell received the Governor’s Meritorious Service Award for providing aid to Gordon and safely moving him to a more readily accessible location. Oberbreckling and Kleinmeyer were recognized with the Governor’s Lifesaving Award for their swift response in recognizing his symptoms and successfully performing CPR. The combined actions of these individuals saved the life of Gordon, and their heroic deeds will forever be remembered.

The Governor’s program concluded with a well-deserved applause and standing ovation from the crowd for the 21 honorees on stage.