By any standard, two local seniors with lifeguard and CPR training are heroes. And they’ve got the hardware to prove it.
Rice County Sheriff Jesse Thomas on Thursday awarded Hunter Conrad, a senior at Bethlehem Academy, and Luke Sargent, a senior at St. Olaf College, the Rice County Sheriff’s Office’s Citizens Life Saving Award for helping save the life of Northfielder Neil Lutsky.
In early October, Lutsky, a Carleton College professor and avid cyclist, was riding with a group of fellow cyclists – including Sargent -- south of Dundas when he suddenly fell to the ground, stopped breathing and began turning blue.
Conrad, who works at the Faribault Community Center and was driving in the area checking on potential hunting sites, stopped to help. Both he and Sargent, a South Carolinian who is studying music and trumpet performance, began doing CPR on the unconscious Lutsky.
“During that October day, Luke and Hunter both stepped up and used their lifeguarding skills and started CPR on Neil,” Thomas said. They continued on until medical personnel and deputies arrived. This gave Neil the chance to get into the hands of medical professionals.”
Medics at the scene credit Conrad and Sargent’s actions for saving Lutsky’s life, keeping him going until advanced medical resources arrived to fly him to a metro hospital where he received care.
Northfield Hospital EMS Chief Brian Edwards underscored the importance of Conrad and Sargent’s quick actions, noting that early intervention in cases like Lutsky’s is critical.
“The difference was made before we even got there,” he said. “Kudos to these young men.”
Lutsky, who says he was quite literally brought back to life by Conrad and Sargent, had strong words for the two.
“Being willing to stop and put your training into action and with little sign it was doing anything … you’ve really touched many lives and my life in a way that’s difficult to fathom. In my eyes you’re heroes. You really are.”
Jesse Thomas, Rice County Sheriff
Suzy Rook, Communications Coordinator