by Dennis Dalman
As an audience applauded, Sartell resident Randy Thompson gave big hugs to the people who helped save his life on Feb. 7.
It happened at a recent city-council meeting after Sartell Police Chief Jim Hughes presented each of the seven individuals with the police department’s “Life Saving Award.” Those honored included three police officers and four employees of the Benton-Stearns Education District.
Hughes praised them all for their professionalism and quick thinking.
Hughes described what happened. At 10:34 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 7, the police received an emergency call from the BSED’s “Pioneers” branch building at 212 Third Ave. S. Travis Pinney, a paraprofessional in the BSED’s “Pioneers” building, saw a man had collapsed in a hallway. Pinney immediately notified program supervisor Stephanie Wruck, who made the 911 call.
Meantime, before the police rushed in, BSED paraprofessional teachers in that building hurried down the hallway to help the man. They quickly noticed the man was gasping for air, his lips turning blue.
Preston Dilley, holding an automated electric defibrillator, applied a shock from the machine to the man’s heart. Elyse Euteneuer then applied two more shocks.
The police arrived. Adam Vande Vrede began giving the man chest compressions as an ambulance raced to the scene. The BSED employees took turns doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Also helping to revive the man were police lieutenant Kelly Mader and police officer Shelby Lane, who administered oxygen to the man through a tube.
An ambulance then rushed the man (Randy Thompson) to the hospital where he gradually recovered well enough to go home again.
The Benton-Stearns Education District’s main building is located in Sartell at 517 Second St. S. It has two branch buildings – the one known as “Pioneers” in Sartell and another one in Sauk Rapids.
The purpose of the BSED is to provide specialized educational opportunities for children who face learning challenges. It accomplishes that mission by increasing cooperation and coordination among its member school districts.
In 1988, the BSED was reorganized as an education district through an agreement by six member districts. Before that, from 1978 to 1988, it had been organized by a joint-powers special education cooperative.