Responders honored for saving Brooklyn Park man - twice

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Rich Peil of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota is the kind of guy second chances are made for. He recently suffered a major cardiac arrest – twice. Now, city leaders are honoring the people who came to his rescue.

In March, he was plowing away after heavy snowstorm when his wife noticed something was wrong.

“The next thing I know, I hear this huge gasp from him and I looked over and he’s turning color,” said Nicole Peil, Rich’s wife.

So, Nicole called 911 and started CPR.

“And the 911 operator stayed with me on the phone for the full seven minutes until the first responders got there and counted with me while I did CPR,” she said.

Brooklyn Park firefighters and North Memorial paramedics took him straight to the hospital where doctors applied a stent in an artery next to his heart.

Then, exactly one week later back at home, Nicole Peil heard her husband gasp again. Rich’s heart stopped a second time and Nicole started pumping and counting - again. Brooklyn Park’s fire chief says it also saved her husband’s life.

“Through data over the years, [we know] that brain death starts to occur in four to six minutes,” said Brooklyn Park Fire Chief John Cuttingham.  

For the second time, first responders beat the clock, which is why Brooklyn Park honored them all in a ceremony Monday. It was a rare rescue with no victims and all heroes.

“Such professional and such kind hearts,” said Rich Peil. “We’re so blown away, I’m so fortunate to live here, and to be alive.”