Gwen Gernenz, a CNA who takes evening BSN classes at Herzing University-Kenosha, was recently recognized for helping save someone’s life in a Costco parking lot.
Pleasant Prairie (WI) Fire Chief Craig Roepke formally thanked Gwen and a Costco employee during a town board meeting for their quick action in starting CPR and using an AED machine to resuscitate a woman who was in cardiac arrest. The woman regained consciousness before paramedics arrived to transport her to the hospital.
“The interventions and decision to become involved by both individuals is without a doubt the only reason this patient survived,” Chief Roepke said.
Gwen, who is from Gurnee, Illinois, was also nominated by Kenosha faculty and administrators for the Herzing Cup Award for exemplifying Herzing’s P.R.I.C.E. of Success. As the University Herzing Cup Award winner, Gwen will be recognized in mid-February at Herzing’s Annual Meeting in New Orleans and will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
“We commend Gwen for her willingness to intervene in a time of danger and remain calm under pressure,” said Dr. Jeff Hill, campus president of Herzing-Kenosha. “It says a lot about the kind of person, and student, she is.”
This isn’t the first time Gwen has intervened to help in a time of emergency in a public place. As she stated in a submission for Herzing’s #GivingTuesday scholarship contest, while on a family trip to Tennessee last summer, she and her husband helped a woman who was having trouble breathing and stabilized her until paramedics arrived.