Lafayette, MN — Laughter, tears of joy, big smiles under masks, and a love of community were shared last night at the Lafayette Fire and Ambulance Hall as EMR Nick Klingler, EMTs Mark Dick and Ashley Juracek, and Bridget Kavan, daughter of cardiac arrest survivor Lowell Kavan were honored as heroes with the South Central Minnesota EMS Regional System Life Safe Award for successfully performing high quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). 

The ceremony was highlighted even more so as Lowell Kavan was in attendance with family members to thank and witness the recognition of his daughter’s life saving actions as well as those of the Lafayette ambulance crew. The Kavan family watched and listened as the fateful day’s events were recalled and the heroes were recognized for their quick response and actions: 

On July 16th, 2020, Lafayette Area Ambulance responded to a call of a possible cardiac arrest. As the members of the ambulance crew arrived at the patient, they quickly noticed that a person, later found to be Lowell’s daughter, Bridget, was performing CPR on the victim. The ambulance crew initiated a transfer of care from Bridget and quickly initiated their Cardiac Arrest protocol. The Lafayette Ambulance crew then coordinated a handoff to Advanced Life Support, and the Lowell was transported to New Ulm. 

Successful outcomes of patients suffering out-of-hospital cardiac arrests are rare, with about 1 in 10 victims surviving (Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, 2019). In cases where the victims survive, success is found by ensuring the 5 links in the Chain of Survival are followed: Early recognition of cardiac arrest and 911 activation, early CPR with an emphasis on chest compressions, rapid access to an AED, EMS intervention, and post-cardiac arrest care. The teamwork needed to accomplish this is rooted in a love of community, and in this case, Bridget Kavan’s love of her father. It is not every day we get to meet our heroes, and in this case, Lowell raised his. 

Lafayette Ambulance like many ambulance services in the South-Central region are looking for more volunteers to help their communities stay healthy and safe. If anyone has any interest in learning CPR or joining an ambulance service to help their community, they can contact their local ambulance service or reach out the South Central Minnesota EMS Regional System at www.sc-ems.org , and they will be guided in the right direction for their local area.