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Prescott boy's life saved thanks to CPR

PRESCOTT --  Mandy Matzek said she can’t wait for her local CPR classes to start.

She’s got good reason on wanting to learn the life-saving device as she saw first-hand how it saved her son’s life.

On June 30, Matzek and her family were over at friend Troy Billeter’s house on Helen St. in Prescott. Seven-year-old Bennett Matzek was one of eight kids swimming in an in-ground pool when, all of a sudden, it was noticed he was floating in the pool and not moving.

Someone jumped in, brought him out, rolled him over and according to Mandy, Bennett was “blue as a blueberry.”

Billeter, who was about 15-20 feet away, was manning the grill at the time, said he knew CPR and started performing chest compressions. After the third one, Bennett was revived, as he started coughing up water and crying.

When that happened, Prescott Emergency Medical Services (EMS) were on scene (EMS Head Bill Dravis said their response time was three minutes after notification) and Bennett was taken to a hospital for observation. He was released the next day.

“The outcome would have been gravely different without (Billeter’s) effort,” Dravis said.

Mandy believes Bennett, who didn’t know how to swim at the time, was approaching the deep end of the pool, to reach for a pool toy, when he tried yelling for help and ended up taking water instead.

“There were plenty of adults around,” she said. “You turn your head for a few seconds...” She is happy to report he completed swimming lessons this summer and was even back in a pool 26 hours after the incident.

“There was no deep end,” she continued.

Billeter said he was taught CPR in high school and this incident was the first time he used it since.

“It came back to me instantly,” he said. “I didn’t start thinking about it. I just did it.” He later mentioned CPR is “very easy to learn and easy to remember.”

Matzek said everything happened so quick, “everyone reacted the way they were supposed to...I am so grateful to have good friends.”

Dravis said he is hoping on getting Billeter honored at a City Council meeting.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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