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Perham grad receives one of the country's highest civilian honors

Chris Schafer, a 1994 Perham graduate, is receiving the prestigious Carnegie Hero Medal for his life saving efforts two years ago. On Aug. 17, 2017, Schafer saw a semi-truck slammed into a train at a railroad crossing in Blunt, S.D. Schafer initi...

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Chris Schafer, right, a 1994 graduate of Perham High School, received the Citizen's Award of Merit last year in South Dakota. Now Schafer is receiving a Carnegie Hero Medal for his work. (Submitted photo)

Chris Schafer, a 1994 Perham graduate, is receiving the prestigious Carnegie Hero Medal for his life saving efforts two years ago. On Aug. 17, 2017, Schafer saw a semi-truck slammed into a train at a railroad crossing in Blunt, S.D. Schafer initially battled the flames with a fire extinguisher, but gave up when the fire grew. With flames approaching the truck's fuel tanks, Schafer and another bystander pulled the semiconscious 16-year-old driver, Colt Brink, out of the cab just before flames fully engulfed the truck.

Last year, Schafer's courage was recognized by earning The Citizen's Award of Merit from the South Dakota Police Chiefs Association.

Now Schafer, along with 19 other Americans, will receive the Carnegie Hero Medal which is considered one of the highest civilian honors in the U.S.

Candidates for the award must be a civilian who voluntarily risks his or her life to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the life of another person, according to the fund's commission. To date, over 10,000 medals have been awarded to recipients selected from more than 90,000 nominees.

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