Gillette public work’s employee saves a life at Keyhole Reservoir

City of Gillette Parks Operator Boyd Abelseth received a standing ovation as he was recognized by local leaders for helping save a life at Keyhole State Park. (City of Gillette Photo)

Council meetings are typically filled city business such as rezoning, budgets and requests that most people don’t find interesting.

The most recent meeting in Gillette was far from routine. A city employee was recognized with the Extra Energy Award for saving a life during a recent trip to the lake.

Gillette Public Works Parks Operator Boyd Abelseth was present at the meeting when the city council was told by City Administrator Hyun Kim about his life-saving act this summer at Keyhole Reservoir. He witnessed a person with a medical emergency and he, along with his wife Karlene (former city clerk), rushed into action.

“I have the pleasure of reintroducing you to one of our distinguished employees at public works, Boyd Abelseth,” Kim told city council members. “I want to convey a life-saving event that Boyd and his wife were able to do over the July 24th weekend at Keyhole Lake.”

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Abelseth witnessed a medical emergency and assisted in keeping the subject alive until medical personnel arrived.

“Boyd was one of our first responders there on his own time with his wife,” Kim explained. “A gentleman was having a seizure and unfortunately was in the lake and Boyd was able to work with his wife and others to keep his head above water and save this gentleman’s life.”

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Abelseth, who has worked for the city many years, was humble in his heroic actions and did not want to share anything further with the public or media.

“If there’s not an event where we can award one of our employees an Extra Energy Award, as well as acknowledge that event, I don’t know what that would be,” Kim said. “I would like to recognize Boyd for his heroic efforts and saving the life of a fellow resident. That’s exemplary service that we want to acknowledge, so with that, I would like to give this award to Boyd as well as give him the opportunity to shake your hands.”

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Abelseth received a standing ovation from the audience and public officials while he shoke the hands of Mayor Lousie Carter-King and the all city council members.

“Thank you, Boyd for being such an amazing person. It is an honor to have you working with us,” Kim said publically.

Mayor Carter-King praised Abelseth’s rush to action as well.

“It is always wonderful when we are able to recognize one of our own extraordinary employees,” she said.