Lifeline 2
By Kathryn Menue
BELVIDERE – On Thursday, Jan. 28, what should have been a normal day turned into a nightmare for Wallie Nettleton and her husband.
The two were traveling back to the Enterprise car rental store, when Wallie Nettleton began to feel off. She started experiencing pain, to what she then thought was a heart attack, when the driver of the Enterprise car, Randy Frye, took notice of her plight.
At the stoplight of N. State St. and Appleton Road at around 3 p.m., Frye turned to Nettleton’s husband in the backseat and said, “I don’t think your wife is breathing.”
Sure enough, Wallie sat unconscious in the passenger seat of the car.
Luckily, a Lifeline ambulance was sitting at the Road Ranger, located at 2001 N. State St. in Belvidere, where they paramedics had stopped to fill up their gas tank.
Frye quickly drove into the Road Ranger parking lot and summoned the Lifeline ambulance’s paramedics over to help Nettleton.
When Frye flagged down the paramedics, Wallie Nettleton was not breathing, was unresponsive, and had no pulse.
Soon, the Belvidere Fire Department was dispatched to the scene via a 9-1-1 call. Both the fire department and Lifeline worked together to perform CPR, defibrillate, administer an intraosseous line, and administer cardiac medications.
After Nettleton was stabilized, she was transported to the Belvidere SwedishAmerican emergency room where she was then transported to OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford.
“Thanks to both crews performing critical actions, Ms. Nettleton was brought back to rhythm and transported to a nearby emergency department,” Mike Robinson, Media Relations Coordinator for OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, said.
According to Nettleton’s husband, after she received a pacemaker and a defibrillator at OSF Saint Anthony, she was finally able to come home on Thursday, Feb. 18, which just so happened to be her husband’s birthday.
“Her coming home was the best birthday present ever,” Nettleton’s husband said.
On Monday, Feb. 22, at the Belvidere City Council Committee meeting, Wallie Nettleton was able to thank the first responders who saved her life.
The meeting, set at Belvidere City Hall, located at 401 Whitney Blvd., was called to order at 6 p.m., and the firefighter recognition was second on the agenda.
Lt. Shawn Schadle led the recognition by reviewing the series of the events and thanking firefighter and paramedic Chuck Rotolo, firefighter and paramedic Jason Swanson, firefighter Adam Ellwanger, Lifeline paramedics Ken Dalke and Alex Hyatt, and Enterprise driver, Randy Frye for their efforts in bringing Wallie Nettleton back to life.
“Ultimately, the members of the department, life line crew Charlie 62, and Mr. Frye brought this patient back to life,” Lt. Schadle said.
The men all received a standing ovation from the audience and the board members.
Afterward, Mayor Mike Chamberlain shared his appreciation towards the men who saved Wallie Nettleton’s life.
“I want to thank everyone that was involved,” Mayor Chamberlain said. “This is one of those things that makes us very proud in this community.”

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