It was supposed to be a fun opening day of youth football. It all started innocently enough. But things turned on a dime, as one fan needed a hail mary in order to save his life.
The first group of 5th and 6th graders wrapped up their games at Hughes Field, and as fans filed in for the next set of games, Coach and off duty State Patrol officer Derek Arndt knew something wasn’t right.
“I just walked over to the 50-yard line or so on the main field and I saw the commotion and I started moving that direction,” says Derek Arndt. “Assuming that a player got injured or something like that, and then within short order, I realized that it was a different type of emergency.”
That’s where he and two other coaches slash officers performed CPR on an elderly man in cardiac arrest. Arndt with an AED in his vehicle 25 yards away, that made all the difference. After a tense few minutes, the man was sent to a hospital, where he was stabilized.
“You’re always taught that time is of the essence,” Arndt says. “Just how fast we were able to get to him with the series of events. A lot of times it’s either we’re too late or we’re unsuccessful.”
Parents and coaches relieved, able to continue their morning of football, knowing everything would be okay, even the Governor spoke about it during Monday’s press briefing.
“Our law enforcement officers are out there every day working to protect the public and save lives,” says Governor Doug Burgum. “And whether they’re on duty or whether they’re off duty. And maybe it’s their coaching of their kids or watching their kids, they don’t hesitate to spring into action when someone’s life is in danger.”
“Unfortunately, part of the job comes with these incidents,” says Arndt. “And it seems more often than not, it doesn’t turn out this well”