Dixon woman honored with Lifesaving Award

Amy Kutz performed CPR, saved child who’d nearly drowned

Amy Kutz (left), a registered nurse at CGH Medical Center, was the first civilian to be presented with Dixon Rural Fire Protection districts Lifesaving Award by Chief Dustin Dahlstrom (right). Kutz performed CPR on an unresponsive 3 year old who almost drowned.

DIXON — A CGH registered nurse has been honored for saving the life of a child who was drowning.

Dixon Rural Fire Chief Dustin Dahlstrom presented the department’s Lifesaving Award on Tuesday to Amy Kutz. She is the first civilian to receive the award.

The life-saving event happened Saturday, May 18. Kutz, a registered nurse at CGH Medical Center, was on call that day and was relaxing in her backyard when she heard a woman screaming, Kutz described in an interview with Shaw Local.

On Willett Avenue, just outside the city of Dixon, Kutz’s neighbors were celebrating the beginning of summer with a pool day. The family’s mother and grandmother were preparing lunch when a 3-year-old child got into the pool. Another child ran to tell the two adults, who began screaming for help, Lee County Sheriff Clay Whelan said during a Lee County Board meeting on May 25.

Through tears, Kutz recalled running over to help. She told the adults to call 911, helped them to bring all of the other children inside and began doing CPR on the young child, she said.

“Before the ambulance got there, [the child] started moving their head so I knew they were going to be OK,” Kutz said.

Responding to the scene that day were the Dixon Police Department and Dixon Rural Fire Protection District. Dixon Rural Fire paramedics Matt Hey and Josh Tucker “did what’s called a load and go” and transported the child to KSB Hospital in Dixon, Whelan said at the board meeting. Adding “by the time they arrived at [the hospital] the child was crying.”

“Amy Kutz’s resuscitation efforts were instrumental [for the child’s recovery],” Whelan said.

The child was eventually released from the hospital and “is doing very well,” Dahlstrom said Tuesday.

Kutz explained that she does quarterly CPR training and practice for her job at CGH Medical Center and noted the importance of the training.

The Dixon Rural Fire Lifesaving Award is typically given to those within the department. This is the first time the award has been presented to a community member.

When presenting Kutz with the award, Dahlstrom said that her actions that day show how important bystander intervention can be. Kutz expressed how happy she was that the child is OK.

Dixon Rural paramedics Hey, Tucker and Octavio Vilchis were also honored with the Lifesaving Award for their actions that day.

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Payton Felix

Payton Felix

Payton Felix reports on local news in the Sauk Valley for the Shaw Local News Network. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago in May of 2023.