Zamboni drivers save hockey player with severed arteries

3:52 PM, Oct 14, 2011   |    comments
  • Rich Mertz photo courtesy Duluth News Tribune
  • Rich Mertz thanks Thomas Lund (right) and Aaron Hinnenkamp/photo courtesy Duluth News Tribune
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DULUTH, Minn. - Two Zamboni drivers are being credited with a dramatic rescue at the ice arena in Duluth.

They came to the aid of a skater who severed two arteries in his neck in a pickup hockey game last week at Amsoil Arena. Rich Mertz was struck by a friend's skate blade.

Mertz tried to shove ice into the wound to stop blood from gushing from the gash, but was unsuccessful. Ice maintenance workers Tom Lund and Aaron Hinnenkamp rushed to his aid.

Hinnenkamp called 911, grabbed a half dozen towels and Lund applied pressure to the wound. Paramedics arrived and Mertz was rushed to St. Luke's Hospital where his wound was closed with stitches.

The Duluth News Tribune says Mertz returned to the ice arena Thursday to thank the two who he said likely saved his life.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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