Community Spotlight: Brainerd Eagle Scout Wins Life Saving Award
“Less than one percent of the Boy Scouts in scouting ever use their scouting skills to either save their own life or another life, and in this case, Ben has done that,” said Loren Meinke, Pine Tree District Recognition Chairman.
On June 7, 2017, Ben Soukup was working with co-worker Dan Lambie when they noticed something wrong at a busy intersection in Maple Grove.
“We had thought it was a person just running a red light, and then we figured out that something wasn’t right,” Ben Soukup said. “We had to do what we had to do and got her safely out of the car.
Inside of the car was Caitlin Wallerus, who was having a seizure.
“The EMTs had told me that if neither of them were there, I would most likely have died because my car was going through a red light when it happened and it was swerving everywhere, and I would have most likely crashed into something and been severely injured,” Wallerus said.
Lambie crawled through the open window to stop the car while Soukup stopped oncoming traffic. After that, Soukup was able to start first aid and made sure she was breathing until paramedics arrived.
“Ben was really sweet because I was wearing a dress that day, and so he took a blanket from his car and he covered me up and just waited with me,” Wallerus said.
And when you ask Soukup about that day, he said he didn’t even hesitate to jump into action to save a complete stranger.
“This is kind of cool that I can actually use scouting abilities to save someone, but it’s scary at the same time because someone else is hurt and we have to help someone,” said Soukup.
But it’s a gesture Wallerus’s parents are forever grateful for.
“We are just so thankful, appreciative and blessed, “said Caitlin’s parents, Dawn Olson-Wallerus and Paul Wallerus.
And Wallerus finally met one of the men who saved her life.
“It takes a lot of strength to do what they did and I am very grateful for that,” Wallerus said.
That came from his knowledge as an Eagle Scout.
“I’m extremely humbled and excited because I have been a leader for 48 years and this is my first one,” Meinke said.