Crystal Police Officer Honored For Lifesaving Efforts, Reflects On His Own Near-Fatal Journey
When Crystal Police Officers Josh Kasten and Anna Futterer responded to a call for a woman who had fallen and was not breathing at a home on 27th Avenue in January, Kasten said he knew this kind of call doesn’t usually end on a positive note.
“We often go to a lot of ‘un-con’ calls, especially when they’re older people,” said Officer Kasten. “When we got there we could see that she was still breathing, and we realized we still had a solid chance of saving her life.”
The officers detected a pulse using after administering a shock using an AED, and Kasten said they were able to help sustain her until paramedics arrived a short time later.
The woman survived, and Kasten and Futterer were honored by Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering at a city council meeting on March 24.
“To me, it’s another day on the job. This is part of what I signed up for,” said Kasten. “While I do appreciate it and it makes me feel good–it makes most of us feel good when we do get recognition, to us, we’re just doing our job.”
But what may distinguish Kasten among many of his colleagues and peers in law enforcement is the journey he took in his life before the badge: he’s the victim of a violent crime, and he very nearly lost his life as the result of someone else’s actions.
In 2015, while with friends in Baltimore, Kasten said he was robbed and shot.
“The bullet went through the front part of my neck, went through my right lung, collapsed part of my lung, and it lodged in my shoulder,” he said. He spent seven days in a Johns Hopkins hospital. While he was there, he said he continually heard from nurses and doctors about how many people they treat who are mugged or attacked, and he began to realize he could turn his experience into some kind of calling to help others.
“Knowing what it’s like and to come through it and make my own transformation, it makes it easier to relate to the fact that, ‘Hey, right now (victims are) going through something that may not be easy to get through, but there is light at the end of the tunnel,’” said Kasten.
He hopes his journey allows him to better help them, when often people come into contact with first responders during the worst moment of their lives.
Kasten was also a part of the other pair of officers honored by city council that also helped administer Narcan to a drug overdose patient, reviving him and offsetting what could have been a fatal reaction.