The Edge Rental Community honored four students — Christina Wood, Kalli Brooks, Heather Uzer and Alison Morehead — on Wednesday, Jan. 16, for rescuing an HVAC maintenance repairman, Dennis Flack, last semester.
“We’re just so glad that he is doing well,” Brooks, a junior business management major, said. “It was so sweet to see his wife, and she was so thankful for what we did. It was nice to see him walking, and he looked really good.”
On Dec. 9, nearly a month and a half ago when students were preparing for final exams, Wood, a junior marketing major, pulled into 310 Edge Way to meet Brooks for lunch. She was walking from her car when she first noticed Flack bending down, in visible distress.
“I was walking over to Kalli’s apartment and I thought, ‘something’s not right.’ So, I turned around and he was on the ground,” Wood said.
Wood then ran over to Brooks’ apartment, called 911 and returned to the parking lot. Flack had fallen to the floor and his eyes were glossed over, according to Brooks.
“I ran out and tried to wake him up while she was calling 9-1-1 and he wasn’t really responding,” Brooks said. “I tried to get more help because I didn’t really know what to do. I ran to Allison and Heather’s apartment, which was two steps away from where it happened.”
Uzer went to go get people from the housing office, right across the street. In a few moments, Edmund Hughes, who works for VT Rescue and heard the call, started giving CPR to Flack.
“Because we had to put the call to emergency services, someone from VT Rescue had gotten the radio message about the incident,” Uzer said. “He was on campus and thought he could get to the scene faster than the ambulance so he biked over (and) kind of just came out of nowhere. We thought he was from the Edge and he started doing CPR on the man, so he really started resuscitating the man.”
After emergency services arrived, the girls went back inside until the police came to ask them questions.
“It was very emotional to see that,” Brooks said. “We stayed there until everyone was there to help. We went back into the apartment until the cops came. Then we talked to them and told them the story and what happened.”
Flack eventually gained a pulse, but remained in a coma for six days after the incident. After he awoke in the hospital, his doctor remarked that if the four girls hadn’t been at the scene at the time that he initially started struggling, it would have been too late for the medical staff to try to revive him.
“(310 Edge Way) is a very secluded part because it’s just parking and usually people go through the front to get to class,” Brooks said.
“No one else would have been there,” Wood said. “I was the only one around when it happened, so if I wasn’t there who knows when someone would have found him.”
“It happened to be super lucky that she had come to the Edge,” Uzer said.
At the ceremony Wednesday, the apartment agency held a ceremony for the girls and Hughes, providing them with plaques and various gift cards, all organized by Lauren Crotts, human resources and benefits generalist for CMG Leasing.
“Seeing how grateful his wife was — that always gives you a reason to help people,” Wood said. “She was just so happy.”
“Even if it’s not your family, it’s someone’s family,” Brooks said. “You always have to remember that.”