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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Hadeland helpers hailed for their Utøya heroics

For 22 years, the Hadeland chapter of the humanitarian organization Norsk Folkehjelp (Norwegian People’s Aid) has provided first aid at the Labour Party’s summer camp on the island of Utøya. This year, their presence saved many lives, and that has won them a prestigious national award.

Norsk Folkehjelp Hadeland beat out nine other contenders for the annual award that recognizes volunteerism in Norway, Frivillighetsprisen. Government minister Anniken Huitfeldt handed over the award on Monday, which also was the day set aside by the United Nations to reward volunteerism.

Eight persons from Norsk Folkehjelp were on Utøya when a Norwegian right-wing extremist launched a massacre that killed 69 persons and wounded many more. One of Norsk Folkehjelp’s workers was killed herself, when she tried to shield youngsters and gunman Anders Behring Breivik shot her.

The other Folkehjelp workers are credited with saving nearly 50 other summer campers by barricading them into a school building on the island, and also administering first aid to others who were critically wounded.

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