Recognizing a hero

CHARLES CITY, Iowa – 10 year old Jared Cook thought he and his fellow peers were filing into their school gym in Charles City for what they thought was an assembly on proper school etiquette.  Little did he know, he’s actually about to be the star of the program.

In August of 2012, Jared was fishing with his friend Gunnar Starks in Lime Springs when the unimaginable happened.  Gunnar was struck by lightning, and Jared took action.  He made a quick decision that turned him from fishing buddy to hero.

“I saw some people in a truck and I kept trying to get up, and then finally the fifth time, I got up and walked toward the truck. They asked if I needed help or anything then they called 9-1-1 after they’ve saw Gunnar,” said Jared.

A life-saving phone call and the young survivor is grateful for his friend.

“Yeah, he called, not really called, he went for help and that’s why I’m here,” said Gunnar.

Jared was shocked when Lieutenant Dan Schaffer with the Iowa State Patrol came out and asked Jared to come to the front of the assembly.

Next, was the surprise of seeing his friend Gunnar in town from Byron, Minnesota to help with the surprise.

The Iowa State Patrol heard about his act of kindness and wanted to recognize the young hero, so they presented a letter to him recognizing his act of courage.

School leaders presented him with a super hero shirt.

At the end of all the excitement of Friday’s assembly, Jared was asked what if he learned anything from this whole experience.

“Don’t go fishing when there’s a storm going on.”

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