ASU student saves the life of a Tempe businessman

"I was just worried about him being okay"

An ASU student is one of two people to receive the Citizen Life Saving Award on Friday for saving the life of a local businessman earlier this year.

Chance Buddecke, a sophomore majoring in business management, was working at the Baskin Robbins on Guadalupe and McClintock roads when co-owner of the shop Jim Wise suffered cardiac arrest in August, 2018.

Soon after, Wise's wife Sara began performing continuous chest compressions on him, a technique that only requires using the hands for resuscitation. Sara Wise then asked Buddecke to take over.

Despite this being Buddecke's first time resuscitating someone, he said he stayed calm at the time. Buddecke performed CCR on Wise until paramedics arrived minutes later and transported Wise to Banner Desert Medical Center.

"I assessed the situation and did what I needed to do," he said. "I was just worried about him being okay. He got pale and started to turn gray. While doing compression, I could hear his ribs crunching while I was speaking on the phone with the operator."

Both Buddecke and Sara Wise received the award from Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department at Corona del Sol High School, Buddecke's alma mater, for their efforts back in August.

Buddecke, who graduated from Corona del Sol in 2017, credits learning this lifesaving technique in a class taught by the Tempe Fire and Medical Department and Tempe St. Luke's Hospital during his high school years.

Students in the Tempe Union High School district are enrolled in the class through outreach programs, one of which includes CCR training.

Altogether, 22,000 students have been successfully trained to use CCR since 2012.

Sheila Bryant, a pre-hospital coordinator of emergency services, has been working at St. Luke's hospital for 39 years.

"We don't use mouth-to-mouth (CPR) anymore. Teens that are 13 and up and adults have oxygen in their blood that must be circulated to keep the brain alive," Bryant said. "We have kids train on mannequins and teach them if they hear ribs crunching they are doing CCR right."

"You've got about eight to ten minutes of oxygenated blood already in your system," EMS coordinator for Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Dana Cardenas said. "If that pump isn't pumping but someone pumps for them, then it continues to circulate. It takes about five to six minutes for emergency response to get there."

Cardenas said that CCR is better than CPR due to the successful decrease of chances of patients having cognitive affects that could make them incapable of living normal and functioning lives.

Tempe Fire Chief Greg Ruiz, has been in the fire industry for over 29 years and his crew took over from Buddecke and transported Jim Wise to the hospital.

"The resuscitation efforts were successful and Jim (Wise) was conscious, awake and talking while in route," Ruiz said. "Because of the efforts of Chance (Buddecke) and Sara (Wise), Jim is alive."

Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell said, "this good deed does not go unnoticed. Chance and Sara have stepped up to show they are remarkable human beings."

 Reach the reporter at or follow @masaihuntertv on Twitter.

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