SIBLEY, Iowa — Three employees of the Osceola County Sheriff's Office were given Lifesaving Awards from Sheriff Doug Weber on Wednesday for saving the lives of two local men in cardiac distress.

Ambulance Director Sande Smith explained that deputies Tyler Bos and Zane Roberts and Sgt. Matt Julius received the honor "to show them that what they do matters."

Smith recounted the events that earned the officers their awards.

On Oct. 31, 2014, Gary Iedema had attended the community Halloween dance and was sitting at a local bar.

"Just like that, he fell over backwards on the floor," Smith said. Iedema wasn't breathing, so three civilians began CPR while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive.

Julius was the first professional on the scene. He retrieved an automated external defibrillator from his squad car and administered a shock to Iedema's chest to restore the heart's normal rhythm.

When an ambulance arrived, paramedics stabilized Iedema and transported him via helicopter to receive further treatment.

Julius's actions were "truly amazing," Smith said.

"We should have done something then," she added, "but we want to recognize Matt for that."

The second life was saved by deputies earlier this year, after Bos and Roberts were paged to the scene of a vehicle accident Oct. 18 at Jackrabbit Junction.

Charlie Klaassen was driving his truck and had crashed into the curb of Cenex, barely missing the propane tank. When the deputies arrived, they saw Klaassen slumped over the steering wheel and rushed to help him. Roberts pulled Klaassen out of his truck and Bos realized Klaassen wasn't breathing.

Together, the two deputies administered CPR and used an AED to shock Klaassen's heart once before the ambulance got there. Klaassen also required helicopter transportation.

Both Iedema and Klaassen made full recoveries. Both were present Wednesday evening to witness their heroes receive Lifesaving Awards.

"Our deputies are usually the first on scene," Smith said, adding that seconds can mean the difference between recovery and fatality.

Weber thanked the officers for their "quick thinking and action" that resulted in two lives saved.

"I am just extremely proud of them," Smith said.