State Patrol makes medical roadside rescues

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(WEAU) -- It's the type of situation that can change a life in moments. And often happens at an unexpected time, in an unexpected place.

"I was just out on normal routine patrol and heard Jackson County give out a call of a person in cardiac arrest," said State Patrol Trooper Kyle DeVries.

He was in his squad car on I-94 just past Black River Falls on Friday. His colleague, Jeremy McNulty, was also in the area.

"We coordinated between the two of us a little bit before we got on the scene," he recalled.

That meant making sure the area was safe and cars were slowing down. More importantly, giving the man in cardiac arrest CPR and the medical attention he needed.

"In their initial training at the academy, all the troopers receive training which includes CPR training," said Sgt. Michael Newton with the Wisconsin State Patrol.

He says troopers go through a 22-week academy. Some of that includes courses on what to do if they need to give medical attention. Troopers are also given refresher courses throughout the year.

"Sometimes we'll go months without that type of call, it's sporadic, nothing you can determine how you respond to," he added.

Troopers rely on CPR techniques since they do not have Automatic External Defibrillators. It was Jackson County Deputy Kim Kuehl that later got to the scene with an AED in her squad car.

Devries says troopers rely on repetition in their training to help them through these moments. And those dangerous conditions on a highway, cold weather, and cars driving by quickly, is not phasing.

"It’s just something you don't even notice, you go there, you have a job to do and training takes over," DeVries added. "And you just go from there and do what needs to be done."

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