In June 2014, Ryan, an EMT with HealthPartners Medical Transport, and Megan Fraser were heading home after getting married in Hastings the previous day. They decided to stop at the Burger King at 7th Street East and Maria Avenue in St. Paul. As they were pulling into the drive-thru, Megan noticed a man acting funny in a nearby bus shelter. Ryan went to check on him.
“It was a guy in his 20s, on his back, and he was totally blue,” Ryan said. “I could tell he wasn’t breathing, and I couldn’t find a pulse.”
Ryan started CPR, and after a few minutes started to see some results.
“His skin color was starting to change to more of a normal color,” he said. “Eventually I could see veins in his neck popping out, meaning he was getting a pulse back.”
Emergency crews arrived, and Ryan later learned the man had survived. In May of 2016 the St. Paul Police Department gave Ryan and Megan its Chief’s Award for Valor.
Ryan trains EMTs, and he uses that experience to make an important point for his students.
“I tell them CPR doesn’t have to be fancy–don’t overthink it,” he said. “I didn’t have any of the equipment that we use and this guy actually made it, with hands-only CPR.”