Athletic trainer saves veteran's life on sideline of Hutchinson High School football game | KSTP.com

Athletic trainer saves veteran's life on sideline of Hutchinson High School football game

Ben Henry
Updated: September 12, 2021 10:16 PM
Created: September 12, 2021 09:36 PM

For at least the second time this month, an athletic trainer is credited with saving someone’s life on the sideline of a high school football game. 

On Friday, the Hutchinson Tigers hosted the Willmar Cardinals for their Red, White and Blue Service Appreciation Night.

As the Tigers were accompanied by military veterans on the field before kickoff, a large American flag was draped across the field as planes flew overhead.

Moments later, one of the veterans became unresponsive on the sideline. Fortunately for him, licensed athletic trainer Amy Rogotzke was nearby. 

“We lowered him to the ground and initiated the CPR,” Rogotzke said. 

“While we were working on him for a little bit he ended up thankfully coming to,” Rogotzke added. “Which is not often the case so we were very, very fortunate.”

An automated external defibrillator, or AED, was not needed at the Hutchinson football game. 

In a tweet, Hutchinson High School called Amy a “lifesaver.”

This isn’t the first time a person collapsed on the sideline of a high school football game this season and needed life-saving measures. 

On Sept. 3, Waseca head football coach Brad Wendland went into cardiac arrest with 31 seconds left in the game. An AED was needed and within five minutes Wendland became responsive. He even wanted to finish the game but instead was sent to the hospital. He was sent home a few days later and is doing well.

The success both instances had is rare. Rogotzke tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS as some of her colleagues reached out with support following Friday’s game, they told her they were recently in similar situations but were not able to save the person’s life. 

Rogotzke says she’s still processing what happened. One thing she does know and mentioned multiple times: the importance of knowing CPR and how to use an AED. 

“You could be at a family birthday party, you could be at the mall, you could be at work and you just never know something could happen that you really need to know these lifesaving skills for,” Rogotzke said. “Time is of the essence when this happens.”

The American Heart Association can help connect you with classes to learn those live-saving skills.


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