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Working Together to Save a Life

For farmer Jerry Breuer of Patch Grove, the day of Thursday, June 25th seemed like any other day. But that afternoon he experienced a life-threatening emergency of which he would have no memory.

At 12:51 pm, a 911 call was placed from the Platteville Menards store where Jerry had collapsed from a sudden cardiac arrest. A Southwest Health Emergency Medical Services (EMS) crew was immediately dispatched as were Platteville Police. Fortunately for Jerry, Menards employee Brad Brunette was working in the same area of the store that Jerry collapsed, and Brad sprang to his aid.

Finding Jerry unresponsive and not breathing, Brad immediately began CPR and continued until the EMS crew arrived. CPR in such a case provides the victim of sudden cardiac arrest the best chance of survival. On learning of Brad’s quick response, the EMS crew called for additional assistance, and two off-duty EMS staff also responded to the scene.

Though it’s rare to successfully resuscitate a victim of sudden cardiac arrest and even far rarer still to do so in a way that avoids serious long-term damage to the brain, Jerry’s case was an exception. Jerry was soon transported by EMS to the Emergency Department at Southwest Health where experienced emergency physician Kent Kramer, MD administered further care. Dr. Kramer later transferred Jerry to a Dubuque hospital, where he finally woke after his remarkable recovery and the highly trained response that not only saved his life but also saved his quality of life.

At a recent ceremony at the Southwest Health EMS Station, EMS crew members and others involved all received awards recognizing their life-saving efforts:

  • Brad Brunette, who had been previously trained in CPR, for his fast and skilled response
  • Paramedic Zach Colvin and EMT B.J. Baker, on-duty EMS crew members first to respond
  • Platteville Police Office Paul Rehlinger
  • Brian Allen and Patrick Monckton, EMS Administrators also responding
  • Trevor Brunette and Tina Davies, off-duty EMS crew members who assisted with the call

“There is no way I could ever thank these fine people enough,” stated Jerry Breuer after the ceremony. I’m here today because they came to help me when I most needed it.”

From left: Patrick Monckton, Tina Davies, Brian Allen, Brad Brunette, Jerry Breuer, Trevor Brunette, B.J. Baker, and Zach Colvin. Missing from photo is Officer Paul Rehlinger.

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