Good Samaritans, police officers save unconscious woman from freezing to death


Three good Samaritans and two Minneapolis police officers were recognized for helping save a woman's life just hours into the new year.

Roommates Paul Bigot, Karri Plowman and Greg Wisa were returning to their Uptown home when they heard screams and moaning. Instead of ignoring what could have been New Year's Eve hoopla, they investigated and found a woman in her 20s curled up in an alley, WCCO reports.

She was wearing just a T-shirt and jeans. The low that day was 11 degrees.

“As soon as I got there, it was like everything stopped for her. She was in survival mode and the screams stopped and she stopped moving altogether," Bigot said, according to KSTP.

Within minutes, Minneapolis police officers Jared Kunze and Ryan Johnson were at the scene, reports say.

They grabbed a blanket to wrap her up and checked in to see when the ambulance would arrive, the police department wrote on Facebook. It was delayed, so the officers, realizing how dire the situation was, took the "unusual step" of transporting her to the hospital in their squad car.

Wisa, who is a registered nurse, road along to help care for the woman.

“It was still scary even for me, responding to an emergency in the field is a lot different than my heated hospital with equipment,” Wisa said, according to WCCO.

At the hospital they learned had they not acted as fast as they did, she would have likely died before the ambulance arrived, the Facebook post said.

Reports note the woman is doing fine.

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A similar story made headlines last winter. Alyssa Jo Lommel, a student at the University of Minnesota Duluth, had to have parts of her feet and her fingers amputated due to frostbite after spending several hours in subzero temperatures.

She returned to campus this fall to continue her academic career as planned.

Last winter's record-breaking cold contributed to at least 26 deaths in Minnesota – which is about average for the past five years.

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found about 2,100 people in the U.S. die each year due to a weather-related cause. Of that number, about 1,300 are attributed to the cold.

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