'He's a hero': We Energies worker's quick actions save woman's life
WEST ALLIS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A We Energies natural gas technician is being hailed a hero after his quick actions saved a woman's life earlier this month.
Kellen Vetter is based out of Richland Center and was on his way to a work assignment for what was starting off to be an ordinary day.
"At the time I had my GPS, because I had never been this way and ended up missing my turn," Vetter said.
It was that simple missed turn which led him to a scene just a short distance later where people were waving down cars on the side of the road.
"They kind of just yelled at me and said, 'she's in the ditch, she rolled over in the ditch,'" Vetter recounted.
Vetter moved towards the rolled over car where he found a woman in the driver's seat yelling and severely bleeding from her left arm. That's when the former Army paratrooper's training kicked in.
"I just thought for a second and I was like, 'alright, well we got to do something,'" Vetter said. "So I asked, 'does anybody have a belt on them?'"
Vetter then applied a belt to the woman's arm as a tourniquet to stop her bleeding.
"From then on out I was just trying to calm her down," Vetter said. "She was telling me stuff like, 'I don't want to die' and stuff, and I'm like, 'you're not going to die,' and, 'I'm going to stay here as long as I have to.'"
Minutes later, first responders arrived on scene and the woman was taken to a hospital by MedFlight and survived.
While Vetter credits the work of others involved -- like the first responders, passersby who got his attention and the boy in the passenger seat of the car in the accident who got out to call for help -- trauma experts said his actions were vital.
"He's a hero in my eyes, he saved a life," said David Piccolo, the EMS and trauma coordinator at Froedtert South Hospital in Kenosha.
Piccolo teaches Stop the Bleed courses which guide people on how to respond to severe bleeding incidents by packing wounds, applying pressure and putting on tourniquets to stop bleeding. It's cases like the one Vetter was involved in that Piccolo said every minute counts.
"It doesn't take long for our bodies to lose that blood and doing one of these three techniques to that severe bleeding can save a life," Piccolo explained.
CBS 58 asked Vetter at a news conference about why he stopped to help when he could have kept driving toward his work.
"I don’t know why I would ever -- in my personal life, why I would ever feel good about driving away when someone's asking for help," Vetter said. "That's just not who I am."
Vetter said he hopes to meet the woman whose life he saved in the near future to see how she's doing.
To learn more about Stop the Bleed courses, CLICK HERE.