When Daniel Kutch’s dad slumped over on the table at a local restaurant last year, the family thought he was choking but realized quickly that he didn’t have a pulse. He was having a heart attack.
Within minutes, firefighters arrived and used an automated external defibrillator to revive him. When EMS workers arrived, they performed CPR and Kutch believes his dad’s life was saved due to the swift action.
“Because of the quick use of the AED my family is still enjoying dinners with my dad,” Kutch said. “Because of this I have dedicated my Eagle Scout project to raising money to purchase AEDs for our law enforcement agencies.”
Kutch, 16, is preparing to enter his junior year at Bellville High School. He attended last week one of four local events last week in which local law enforcement, firefighters and EMS workers provided training on “stop the bleed” and active shooter training. Protective Security Adviser Michael Macha led the discussion. While events already have been held in Bellville and Industry, classes are set for 6 p.m. Aug. 15 and 16 at The Hill Community Center in Sealy and Wallis Community Room Building C, respectively.
Cardiac arrest kills more than 300,000 Americans every year, and the survival rate is 5 percent, Kutch points out on his gofundme page.
“When an AED is applied and used during the first minute the survival rate goes up to 90 percent,” he said. “Without an AED the survival rate goes down 7 to 10 percent every minute.”
Kutch was supported at the Aug. 7 event at Bellville United Methodist Church by his mother Sherry Kutch, Austin County EMS worker Lori Gaines and scout leaders Kenneth and Maggie Thuesen.
“He’s an excellent young man,” Maggie Thuesen said. “He pays great attention to detail. He’s very passionate.”
Kutch said the main focus of his project is leadership. He wants to go to college and become an engineer.
“As of today there are several police departments in Austin County that do not have a single AED available in their department and in emergency situations, on-duty officers often arrive before EMS,” he said. “These are life-saving tools. I know this because an AED saved my dad’s life.”
Maggie Thuesen said she’s proud of Kutch and his project.
“The skills they learn in scouting and school help save lives,” she said.