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Dispatcher walked student through CPR on Stone Foltz

Cpl. Karrie Houtz is a certified emergency medical dispatcher and has worked for WCSO for 15 years
Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 6:08 PM EST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) - When an emergency strikes and you call 911, dispatchers are the first line of defense. Corporal Karrie Houtz has worked as a dispatcher for the Wood County Sheriff’s Office for 15 years and says every day is different.

Dispatchers field calls about everything -- from a dog bite to a house fire or an unconscious person.

Last Thursday, Cpl. Houtz was the one who answered the phone when friends of Stone Foltz called for help. Foltz, a 20-year-old sophomore at BGSU was described as non-responsive and friends told dispatchers that he had drunk “a lot of alcohol.”

Cpl. Houtz remained on the line for nearly six minutes, asking questions, encouraging the original caller, who became overwhelmed to find someone else to help, and then walking another man in the apartment through the basics of CPR.

“Someone has to remain calm in that situation and that’s us,” says Cpl. Houtz.

Luckily, someone that was inside of the student’s apartment knew the basics of CPR, claiming in the 911 call that he learned it in Boy Scouts. Cpl. Houtz calmly counted over the speakerphone and encouraged the man to continue helping his friend.

“I know in someone’s worst moment asking them to do something so stressful as CPR but it really does make a difference,” says Cpl. Houtz.

Cpl. Houtz recently lost her own brother to a sudden medical issue. Her own father called into the Wood County Dispatcher Center and was coached over the phone to begin CPR before first responders arrived. Unfortunately, her brother did not survive, but Houtz says when she took that call involving Stone Foltz, she knew starting life-saving measures were crucial and needed to be done right away.

While Foltz did not survive, Cpl. Houtz is confident the few minutes of CPR his friend performed helped Foltz become an organ donor and give family and friends a chance to say goodbye.

“I believe very strongly in what we do and helping people before the first responders get on scene,” says Cpl. Houtz.

Cpl. Houtz says you never know when you might need help. She encourages everyone to know CPR, and if you are calling for help, try to have an address of where you are located. This will help get an emergency response as quickly as possible.

Tuesday evening, BGSU leadership released a statement saying, in part, “Dozens of students at Bowling Green State University held a silent protest Tuesday in honor of fellow student Stone Foltz, the 20-year-old who died after participating in an alleged hazing activity off campus involving alcohol.”

Click here to read the full statement.

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