9/21/2017 3:35:00 PM Opportunity to say thank you to emergency
responders means everything to Lindstrom man
The awardees and their patient enjoyed a reunion in much calmer conditions. Pictured are EMT St. Amand, Officer Barwin, Schmidt, Paramedic Bartz, and Van Horn at the LifeSaving Award medal presentation at Lindstrom City Hall.
Lindstrom resident John Schmidt was clearly overcome by emotion, when he did the honors last week of presenting LifeSaving Medals to two Lakes Area Police personnel and two Lakes Region EMS crew members during the police commission meeting. Schmidt recounted snippets of a near-death incident, exactly one year ago, with the authoritative but humorous demeanor many will recognize from Schmidt’s days as M.C. of the Celebration of Lakes hot air balloon activities.
On September 14, 2016, Lakes Area Police officers Chad Vanhorn and Jonathan Barwin responded to Schmidt’s calling 9-1-1. Their emergency care allowed for Lakes Region EMS to successfully takeover and render advanced aid within what’s dubbed “The Golden Hour” after stroke or in this case, heart attack. Schmidt told those assembled for the medal ceremony that he’d been on the phone with his son but wasn’t feeling well. He must have passed-out briefly because he lost and then regained his surroundings, when he heard his son’s voice on the phone. He recalls telling him he wanted to lie down for about 10 minutes and hung up. When his heart beat began racing Schmidt called 9-1-1 and things went fuzzy after that.
Schmidt lives just blocks from the Lakes Area Police offices; the call log notes Barwin and Vanhorn arrived three minutes after the 9-1-1 call.
This speed, plus the fact the two officers knew how to give specific aid, along with the EMS team’s skills, all came together so that Schmidt was able to say thank you this day.
“I remember hearing (LAPD Officers) voices calling to me ‘don’t fall asleep John, stay awake,” said Schmidt.
He could also overhear paramedic Kate Bartz and EMT Elliot St. Amand, declaring how serious the situation was and Kate then asked, he said, “If I was emotionally attached to my shirt” which they cut off, said Schmidt.
Officer Barwin would drive the rig so EMS could focus on Schmidt.
After the award ceremony, Barwin told the Press this was the first time he’d driven an ambulance, but he has driven one since. He added that he and VanHorn had utilized sternum rubs to keep Schmidt conscious. They didn’t use the AED this time, because Schmidt was still breathing on his own.
Schmidt went to Fairview in Wyoming and then was ground transported to U of MN Hospital.
Lakes Area Police Commission Chair Bob Gustafson noted, “It does our hearts good to hear of things like this.”
Schmidt stated that with so many negative law enforcement stories recently in the media, “I believe in giving credit where credit’s due.” Having also survived repeat occurrences of cancer, Schmidt said he is simply amazed and very grateful each day for just being here.