Belle Plaine Students Learn CPR After Coach Nearly Dies

Updated: 11/16/2012 9:21 PM KSTP.com By: Beth McDonough

It happens every two minutes. Someone in the U.S. dies from cardiac arrest.

A popular coach in Belle Plaine almost did, had it not been for someone who knew CPR.

Coach Ken Wick told us it made all the difference for him after he suffered a life-threatening cardiac arrest on this football field in front of his players back in September.   The spasm brought Wick to his knees and those watching, to tears.

Coach Joe Ploetz says he thought he'd just watched Wick die on the football field and he was scared.

Fellow coaches knew how to perform CPR, their hands taking over for Wick's heart.

David Peterson is a paramedic with Ridgeview Medical Center. He believes CPR can double or triple the chance of a patient surviving.

Coach Wick told his story Friday to the entire student body at Belle Plaine High.  His powerful words were heard by hundreds. Including Nick Johnson who knew of CPR, but not how to do it.  He got a real life lesson. 

Students practiced CPR and how to use an AED, Automatic External Defibrillator.  They were hands on efforts followed by a machine, both combined to save lives and in this case, Coach Wicks.

The high school voluntarily held the training today.  Starting in January 2014, it'll be mandatory. That's because Governor Dayton signed a law requiring all Minnesota high school students between grades 7 and 12 to have CPR training before graduating.