Dickinson Teens Awarded for Saving Father's Life

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Three teens in Dickinson are being honored with the North Dakota Peace Officer Association's Lifesaving Award.​

Getting a driver's license or making honor roll are great accomplishments for some teens.

For the Prauses, it's saving their dad's life.

"We were just standing, he was hooking up a water line, and I was at the top of the trench handing him tools that he needed. And all of a sudden one of the sides started falling," says Justin Praus, 18.

The wall completely buried Gene Praus. The teens immediately went into action.

"I jumped right in. I was down in that hole right away. And then I yelled at my older brother; had him come over and help," said Praus.

Jonathan, Jacinda and Justin Praus called 911. They were able to uncover their father's head so he could breathe until help arrived.

Stark County Sheriff Terry Oestrich nominated the three, along with Deputy Mike Olson, for the LifItesaving Award.

"It's a privilege to be able to nominate citizens for this because it speaks highly of their character and their commitment to their fellow human being, which in this case was their dad," said Oestrich.

Although the teens say they were panicking at the moment, it was their quick thinking that earned them the award.

"If it weren't for all of them, it would be very tough. I don't know if I would be here," said Gene Praus, father.

And for that, their dad says is he forever grateful.

Very few people receive the Lifesaving Award each year, so it is a high honor to be presented with one.