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Paramedic student honored for helping to save life

 Paramedic student honored for helping to save life

NORFOLK, Neb. --- The spotlight has been on Eric Kloster -- at least from a media standpoint – in recent weeks. While some people might seek it, the humble Ponca native would just as soon blend in with the background.

For those who might have missed it, Kloster was honored with the State of Nebraska’s CODE Save Award during the South Sioux City city council meeting on Nov. 13. The ceremony was covered by several media outlets, including Sioux City TV stations and some weekly newspapers.

Here’s why so many are interested in the work of Kloster and his team.

Kloster, a Northeast Community College student at the time on his internship with South Sioux City Fire/Rescue, went to a call for a patient in his 40s who went into sudden cardiac arrest at an industrial setting on June 9. 

Together with his team, Kolster’s expertise and critical thinking skills enabled him to successfully resuscitate the patient by assuring adequate circulation, perfusion, and oxygenation, administering multiple medications and the patient being shocked multiple times. 

Resuscitation efforts continued in the emergency room and the Cardiac Cath Lab. The patient’s heart was defibrillated 48 times over an extended period. And then some 48 hours later, the patient walked out of the hospital on his own accord and was able to go home and continue his life with his family.

The award was given because the of the high-quality rescue efforts of the EMS team with Kloster as lead. 

“The fact that this man survived is nothing short of a miracle,” said Carol Rodenborg, director of the EMS/Paramedic programs at Northeast. “The patient had been down for seven minutes before CPR began. Every minute that goes by without CPR and defibrillation decreases survival by 10%. Eric did everything right and that is a reflection of the training he received at Northeast Community College.”

Kloster is a firefighter/paramedic at South Sioux City and also works for the Nebraska State Patrol.

“Our students do not only study to pass the Paramedic program but to make a difference when their patient stands between life and death,” Rodenborg said.


Eric Kloster (Northeast Community College)