The Big 10 football schedule makers will not have Iowa and Nebraska play each other at the end of the season next year.

It doesn’t matter when the border states will play, as long as they continue taking a moment during the game to acknowledge a hero from each state. That’s been done since the two started playing each other annually in 2011.

This year’s Iowa hero is somebody we all should pay attention to.

According to a story in the Omaha World-Herald before last Friday’s game, “Katie Gudenkauf, a Dubuque native, said it’s a strange feeling to be called a hero. She has said that it was ‘a group of people,’ including another nurse, who came together to help Jake Tebbe when his heart stopped while playing soccer.

‘It feels odd to be recognized as a hero, because it’s not something I necessarily think of myself as, because there would never be a situation where I would not jump in and help them,’ she said. ‘I think that’s just part of being in the medical profession. I would always jump in and help someone no matter what.’

Gudenkauf jumped in last March on the Clarke University campus in Dubuque. She was at an indoor soccer tournament in which Tebbe was playing. 

Tebbe’s heart stopped beating and he blacked out during the game. Gudenkauf, a family practice nurse now working at Grand Regional Health Center in Lancaster, Wisconsin, stepped in and asked someone to get the automatic external defibrillator that she then used to shock Tebbe’s heart twice.”

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable device used to help people experiencing a heart attack.

Automatic external defibrillators’ sound like something in a Star Trek episode, but they are much closer than that.

In an effort to improve emergency response within the Page County Courthouse, public health staff installed AED units on the first and second floor three years ago.

There are county employees within the courthouse who are trained to operate a AED. But, like Gudenkauf explained, what if the trained person is not available? And it doesn’t have to be the courthouse. Those devices are in other, public places across the country.

Page County Public Health staff said the courthouse AEDs have not been used for their purpose since they have been installed.

But that doesn’t mean they never will.

When the county installed theirs, according to the American Red Cross, sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Over 350,000 people will experience sudden cardiac arrest.

It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere and at any age. An AED is an effective treatment for restoring a regular heart rhythm during sudden cardiac arrest and is an easy to operate tool for someone with no medical background.

As we approach the new year, there’s going to be those resolutions tossed around. Rather than lose weight or stop a nasty habit, how about learning how to use an AED?

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