Quick Action Saved Employees Life at Work
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A KELOLAND business is installing life-saving devices after one of its employees went into cardiac arrest.
Alan Austin is alive tonight thanks to two police officers and their use of an automated external defibrillator.
The morning of February 2nd Alan was in the office with his co-workers getting ready to start the workday.
“They say I turned around and that’s the last thing I remember,” Austin said.
Tom Hanson: “Do you remember falling?
Alan Austin: “No not really,”
Hanson: “Do you remember feeling bad?
Hanson: “You just fell?
Austin: “Just boom.”
His co-workers called 9-11. Police Chief Michael Schurch and Sgt Michale Meinzer were nearby.
“I walked in and to my surprise, Alan was standing up and talking to me, I’ve known Alan for pretty much my whole life so I started joking with him, that’s when he sat down and started taking off his coveralls I asked him what he was doing, he said I don’t want you to cut them off, so I think he knew something was coming,” Schurch said.
The chief says Alan passed out and started turning purple. They began CPR and hooked up the AED and shocked him. It worked for a while then Alan faded away again, so the machine advised another shock.
Alan was flown to Sioux Falls. He recovered and now has a pacemaker as a precaution.
“23 years ago I had I had a heart attack then where I had damage and blockage they think that’s what set this one-off is the scar tissue was messing with my heart rhythm,” Alan said.
Everyone at this table is a trained first responder. They say anyone can use an AED.
“Once you open the lid of the AED it starts talking to you, place pads on patient now, you follow the pictures on the pads put them right where they need to be it will tell us continue CRP so it can do an analysis then it will say shock advised or shock not advised,” Meinzer said.
Alan’s co-workers saw how the AED saved his life.
The experience has prompted South East Coop to order AEDs for all their locations. They will be installed once they arrive in early April.
Larry Bork is the company’s safety director.
“We had been talking about getting AEDs for a little while, but it kind of got put on the back burner, now when you see an employee that gets saved by one, it’s well worth it,” Bork said.
Alan says he’s grateful to the people who saved his life and wants everyone to understand the importance of two acronyms.
“CPR and AED saved my life,” Alan said.