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Published March 19, 2013, 05:52 PM

Rugby Man Gives Thanks to Responders Awarded for Saving His Life

A Rugby, North Dakota man says he's lucky to be alive thanks to the quick thinking of two off-duty emergency responders after he suffered sudden cardiac arrest at the Spirit Lake Casino in January.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

A Rugby, North Dakota man says he's lucky to be alive thanks to the quick thinking of two off-duty emergency responders after he suffered sudden cardiac arrest at the Spirit Lake Casino in January.

Now fully recovered, 63-year-old Arden Warner helped honor the people who saved his life. The two people responsible for saving Arden Warner's life say they're not comfortable with all this attention, but they hope it sheds a light on life-saving methods anyone can learn.

Arden: "I was walking and they said I just went down like I was shot."

Arden Warner doesn't remember what happened on January 15th at the Spirit Lake Casino.

Arden: "What I remember is about three days later."

But he says he wouldn't be alive to remember anything without two guardian angles.

Tami Bulik, Lakota EMT: "I wasn't on duty. Happened to be meeting with a friend."

Even though she wasn't on duty, Lakota EMT Tami Bulik knew what to do.

Tami: "I think that's what happened is I went into autopilot and did CPR."

Benson County Sheriff's Deputy Marvin Holweger also sprang into action.

Marvin: "She determined there wasn't any pulse, then I went into the Casino to get the AED."

Even with the quick action, he's surprised Warner survived.

Marvin: "I've given CPR 70-80 times in my career and he's the second person who's walked away."

But Warner was there today to celebrate the "Heart Saver Hero Award" Bulik and Holweger received from the American Heart Association.

Arden: "I can never be more grateful to anybody than I am to them, the two people that saved my life."

The two Heart Saver Heroes say anyone could learn how to save lives.

Tami: "I'm a big advocate for learning CPR. Takes 20 minutes."

They hope others take a cue from Warner's story.

Marvin: "I think everyone should take a CPR class."

So that there are more heart-warming, heart-saving stories.

Arden: "I feel like I won the biggest jackpot the casino ever give out."

Bulik says she's going to start monthly CPR training classes in Lakota with the goal of training 80 percent of local residents on how to perform CPR.

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