EMT honored for saving woman found unconscious on side of road
When Lucas Sobeck saw someone parked on the side of the road next to a fire hydrant, he knew something wasn’t right.
While driving on Eighth Street in Reedsburg on Feb. 5, the off-duty Reedsburg Area Ambulance Service EMT noticed a woman slumped over in her car and knew he had to take action.
“As I looked over, I see her slumped over, turned around behind her, walked up and realized she was having a medical emergency,” Sobeck said.
Sobeck, who has been an EMT for over a decade, immediately called 911.
“As soon as the paramedics got there, we were able to break the window, get her out (and) check her pulse,” Sobeck said. “She had no pulse and we started CPR right there on the side of the road.”
That woman was Carolyn Rhinehart, who is alive today because of Sobeck’s critical observation.
“I really don’t have a memory of where I was driving or what I was doing. I can only assume that maybe I was driving to the hospital,” Rhinehart said. “When I ran off the side of the road, thank goodness there was an EMT right behind me.”
Rhinehart lost her memory of the events immediately preceding, during and after the incident. But a note she found helped her piece together what happened that February afternoon.
“I had a note on my counter that said (I was) having chest pains and my back hurts, so I’m assuming I was headed to the hospital,” Rhinehart said. “If I had stayed home and had laid on the couch thinking, ‘I’ll feel better,’ I certainly would not be here.”
Officials honored Sobeck Thursday night for his act of heroism.
“You truly don’t ever expect to get rewarded for something you just do,” Sobeck said. “It’s something that you’re trained and you go through, and every time you turn around, your eye’s always up.”
Rhinehart attended the awards ceremony, marking the first time meeting Sobeck since that February day when he used his training to save her life.
“When I got the call that he was being honored, you know, I thought, ‘I have wanted to meet him, but I haven’t been able to because I’m not driving yet,'” Rhinehart said.
Reuniting with Sobeck and the other medics who helped save her life was emotional for Rhinehart.
“I have my angels here,” she said. “There’s got to be a reason, there’s a higher power to put people in the places they are when they are.”
The day was also emotional for Sobeck.
“There’s a lot of emotions going on,” Sobeck said. “To see somebody that was not here one time, to actually see her start breathing again on her own, get to the hospital and be able to come back, walking, talking, it was great.”
Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch; State Rep. Ed Brooks, R-Reedsburg; and State Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, were at the awards ceremony.
Rhinehart said she has been undergoing cardiac rehab three days a week and she hopes to be driving again by May.