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Prepare now to prevent the worst: Menasha man shares how updated AED, CPR knowledge could have saved a life

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Posted at 6:35 AM, Nov 18, 2023
  • A Menasha man opens up about a harrowing experience where knowing where to find a nearby AED, or automated external defibrillator, and staying up to date on his CPR certification could have saved a life.
  • A man lost his life in this tragic incident, but Craig Zoltowski is determined to help spread awareness so this is less likely to happen to someone else.
  • Links for resources to add life-saving AEDs to your business or an app for locating the nearest ones to you are available in the story.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

If someone collapsed in front of you right now, would you know how to help?

I'm your Menasha Neighborhood Reporter Darby McCarthy, and after this exact scenario happened to a local man, we want to make sure you know how to be prepared for an emergency.

Craig Zoltowski owns Emprize Brew Mill on the square, and he's a landlord for some apartments right next door. I met him when I learned about Ghosts in The Attic downtown.

But recently, he reached out to me after something harrowing happened on his property.

"The tenants upstairs yelled to me. I was loading stuff in the car, and they screamed, you know, screamed for help."

One of his tenants was leaving his apartment and suddenly collapsed outside.

"And they had said, 'Scott, something was wrong with Scott.'"

Craig called 911 and they asked if he had an AED nearby. That's an Automated External Defibrillator.

"I said, 'No, I'm outside in an alleyway.' And then, you know, I said, 'Please send somebody immediately.' And they said, 'Well, you need to start doing CPR until the police arrive.' So, I said 'I don't know how to do CPR.' So, she started training me on the phone."

Tragically, his tenant died. And since then, Craig is pushing to make sure no one else experiences something like that. S

"When you're in the moment and your brain is not really focused and you're — that training would probably have come in really handy."

That set me on the path to reach out to Gold Cross to find out more. I met with Gold Cross Operations Director Nick Romenesko and Administrative Director Heather Stenbroten who told me they are working hard to get more AEDs out in the public.

"They're very safe, so they're only going to be providing a shock to a cardiac rhythm that is appropriate to receive that shock."

Stenbroten says the devices are easy to use.

"It's very simple. If you know how to turn on a button, you basically know how to run an AED. As long as you can push the button, the whole device will tell you exactly what to do next."

They also said to consider downloading the Pulse Point AED app so you'll always know where an AED is located near you. If you are interested in adding an AED to your business, there are grants.

Information on the HeartStart Foundation grant that will give you a percentage match for purchasing an AED is available here.