Hutchinson Police Services Sgt. Joe Nagel didn’t expect to save a man’s life last year during the annual Arts and Crafts Festival, but that’s exactly what happened. On Thursday, Nagel was honored for his part in saving Jim Martini’s life after he suffered a heart event while setting up for the festival.
Martini and his wife have attended the festival for the past nine years to run one of the vendor booths in Library Square.
“I have no talent whatsoever other than the heavy lifting,” Martini said. “So I dragged a tent over to set up, and I felt a little strange in the top of my head. My legs literally turned to rubber and that’s the last thing I remember.”
Nagel, who has served as a sergeant with the Hutchinson police for the past 15 years, saw Martini and acted swiftly.
“I was walking around making sure everything was running smoothly, and it was,” Nagel said. “I noticed a gentleman in distress and it turned out he’d stopped breathing. I was able to start some CPR.”
Shortly after beginning CPR, Nagel was assisted by officers Cory Sederlund, Matt Bergmann and Andy Erlandson. Nagel credited his fellow officers for their efforts before Martini was taken to the hospital.
“I woke up in the hospital and was told Sgt. Nagel had saved my life,” Martini said. “Then I spent a lot of time in rehab and fortunately I’m back again this year.”
As a gesture of gratitude, Nagel accepted a $500 donation from Martini to go toward Law Enforcement Park in Hutchinson.