A day at an Onalaska business turns into a lifesaving event – WQOW TV News 18

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ONALASKA, Wis. (WXOW) – On Friday, the American Heart Association honored two customers and two employees at Blain’s Farm & Fleet for assistance in saving a man’s life.

They all received the Heart Saver Hero Award.

On December 3, 2020, Blain’s Farm & Fleet customer Ronald Swenson was in distress and required medical attention. To help save Mr. Swenson’s life, Store Manager Jolene Schindler responded to the scene and immediately began compressions using the in-store AED to administer the shocks, along with the assistance from two other customers.

Nathan Langrehr was one of those customers. He said he was just at the right place at the right time.

“I checked for a pulse, he didn’t have one, rolled him over, and that is when I said that this guy had a heart attack. That’s is when Jolene came in the picture, and I asked for an AED, and I started CPR,” Langrehr said. “I’m pretty proud to be part of this.”

Jane Blain-Gilbertson, the CEO and President for Blain’s Farm and Fleet said she, unfortunately, knows this situation all too well. Blain-Gilbertson explained that her father, the man who started the company, sadly passed away because of a heart attack. Blain-Gilbertson further explained that a long-term employee died at one of the company’s distribution centers from a heart attack in the past. Because of these tragic deaths due to heart complications, all managers and assistant managers require training to use an AED machine.

“My father and my uncle started the company,” Blain-Gilbertson said. “We pride ourselves on being a family business that extends to all of the associates. Our associates are our family.”

Schindler said Swenson’s life was saved through the help of many Blain’s employees that day, not just her and Langrehr.

“I am very proud of my team,” said Schindler.

The award recipients were Nathan Langrehr, Jessie Gulley, Amy Harter, and Jolene Schindler.


The Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2019 Update from the American Heart Association indicates that:

  • 116.4 million, or 46% of US adults are estimated to have hypertension. These are findings related to the new 2017 Hypertension Clinical Practice Guidelines.
  • On average, someone dies of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) every 38 seconds. About 2,303 deaths from CVD each day, based on 2016 data.
  • On average, someone dies of a stroke every 3.70 minutes. About 389.4 deaths from stroke each day, based on 2016 data.

Heart Attack Symptoms, Risk, and Recovery

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