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Rep. Todd Porter in the right place to save colleague at Capitol

Sen. Kathy Hogan was later found to have suffered a cracked kneecap and a mild concussion after a fall when leaving the Capitol for the day.

Todd porter file
Rep. Todd Porter, R-Mandan, speaks in favor of HB 1426 during the 2017 North Dakota legislative session.
Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune file photo
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BISMARCK — Call it bipartisanship: As Rep. Todd Porter, R-Mandan, walked into the Capitol one day earlier this month, he spotted Sen. Kathy Hogan, D-Fargo, lying on the floor.

She had just fallen while leaving for the day.

Porter, a longtime paramedic, provided immediate assistance to Hogan, who was later found to have suffered a cracked kneecap and a mild concussion.

“Having Todd be my first responder was a gift,” Hogan said. “His calm and firm presence was totally reassuring.”

Beth Helfrich, executive director for the North Dakota broadcasters and newspaper associations, witnessed the quick assist. “It was truly like a divine intervention that Todd Porter, a paramedic, was right there,” she said.

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In addition to his 24 years in the Legislature, Porter has worked as a paramedic in the Bismarck-Mandan area for 45 years. He said he has dealt with numerous calls from “falls with lacerations to major traumatic events.”

Porter carries a pager for the Capitol Response Team and responds when he can to assist state Highway Patrol officers and Capitol Security.

“That is the profession I fell in love with while still in high school, and still to this day it makes my pulse rise a bit,” he said. “But the ultimate satisfaction is helping someone in need.”

Isabelle Ballalatak is a reporting intern with the North Dakota Newspaper Association.

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