by Dennis Dalman
Fast and seamless teamwork saved the life of a Sartell man, and those involved were honored with Sartell Life-Saving awards at the Aug. 26 city-council meeting.
Sartell Police Chief Jim Hughes read the citation as the honorees lined up to accept their awards.
At 2:53 a.m. April 22, Phil Kutzorik suffered what appeared to be either a seizure or a sudden cardiac arrest in his home. He had had a heart attack just three days earlier and was fitted with an arterial stent. As luck would have it, Kutzorik’s brother, Chris, and Chris’s wife, Sheena, were staying overnight at the house.
Noticing a commotion that something was wrong, Sheena, who happens to be a nurse, rushed to her brother-in-law’s side. She immediately began CPR on him as Chris dialed 911.
Within minutes, Mayo Ambulance emergency medical technicians arrived, and Kutzorik’s stopped heart was shocked back to beating by an automated external defibrillator. An air tube was inserted into the victim, who began to breathe again. Three police officers also arrived at the scene and helped out, all working in swift coordination as a team. Kutzorik was rushed by ambulance to St. Cloud Hospital.
As Hughes pointed out in his citation, gesturing toward the lifesavers, “This is what is called teamwork.”
The officers who helped were Sartell Police Sgt. Ross Rooda, Sartell Police Officer Jake Walters and Sauk Rapids Police Sgt. Brent Bukowski.
“The alertness and their quick actions prevented a tragedy from happening that morning,” said Hughes.
Then Phil Kutzorik addressed the council. He praised the quick responses of all involved and said he would not be alive if it were not for their expert teamwork. Kutzorik said that five years ago he decided on a career change, went back to school and became a nurse.
“I’m proud to be a small part of what this organization can be and this kind of success,” he told the council.
The council applauded the honorees, and then its members shook the hands of the honorees.