Reiten Earns Lifesave Award With Local First Responders

Assistant Campus Safety Director Scott Reiten was recognized on Wednesday, December 15 after taking swift action to save a life earlier this fall.
Posted on December 16th, 2021 by

Scott Reiten (second from left) was recognized alongside first responders from the Saint Peter Police Department and Allina Health EMS at a Lifesave Award event on Wednesday, December 15, 2021.

Assistant Director of Campus Safety Scott Reiten was working in his office in Norelius Hall on Saturday, October 30 when a call came over the police radio. There was a medical incident at the Saint Peter Community Garden, which is located at the north end of campus near Broadway Avenue. Believing the incident was a seizure based on preliminary information from the 911 call, Reiten hopped in his patrol vehicle and responded, thinking he might be able to help direct traffic or open a gate near the Big Hill Farm to allow an ambulance to access the scene.

As Reiten arrived at the garden, he found two Saint Peter Police officers performing CPR on a person who was not breathing and didn’t have a pulse. He helped use an automated external defibrillator (AED) to provide a shock to the patient, who ultimately experienced a return of spontaneous circulation. EMS personnel from Allina Health arrived, prepared the patient for transport, and provided supportive care en route to the hospital. According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, only about 1 in 10 victims of cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting experience a successful outcome.

Reiten, along with officers Joshua Klaseus and Ryan Eberhart from the Saint Peter Police Department and EMS staff Denis Pererva and Amy Gulbranson from Allina Health, was recognized at a Lifesave Award Ceremony at the Saint Peter National Guard Armory on Wednesday, December 15. The first responders were presented the award by Mark Griffith, Director of the South Central Minnesota EMS Regional System.

“Teamwork like this comes at the cost of many hours of training, call-taking, and the sacrifice of nights, weekends, holidays, and family time when these members place the greater good over their personal wants,” Griffith said during the ceremony. “The fruit of those sacrifices are found in outcomes like this. These responders each contributed to setting the standard of their professions.”

“We work very closely with the Saint Peter Police Department,” said Reiten, who served in emergency medical services for nearly three decades before joining the Gustavus community as a part-time officer a few years ago and being named assistant director in summer 2021. “We work together as a team, just like clockwork. It’s a very good relationship.”

“In instances where the victims survive, multiple levels of teamwork provide success,” Griffith said.

“The biggest thing is to make sure to call 911 right away, start CPR if the person doesn’t have a pulse, and get a defibrillator involved as soon as possible,” Reiten added.

In 2012, Gustavus Adolphus College became the first institution of higher education in the Midwest to be recognized as a Heart Safe Community. A campus map with the locations of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) is available online.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


Leave a Reply