Golf Course Management

FEB 2018

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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16 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.18 small, we usually don't work together that much," Rodenberg says. And what if Roden - berg hadn't gone onto the course to find Tem- ple and Biens? His task was to tell them to go to lunch earlier than usual, in part because of a chamber of commerce golf outing that day. Perhaps the most interesting twist? It was Temple who more than a decade ago suggested that St. Andrews add AEDs. "I was on the safety committee. I'd heard about an airport sued for not having one. A few weeks later, we had one," Temple says. "Never, though, did it dawn on me that it would be used on me." Now, St. Andrews has three AEDs, including one in the superintendent's office. Since Sept. 11, the three men's lives have changed. Neither Temple nor Biens has re - turned to work yet, and they may not for a while. Temple, who first began at St. Andrews in 1992, is recovering from his health scare and now has a pacemaker and defibrillator. Biens, married and a father of two, hasn't been back since early November, when he was diag - nosed with stage 2 cancer. "It (cancer) is in a treatable range. I'm supposed to be done with chemotherapy Feb. 5. They say everything should be gone. I feel great," says Biens, 36. Rodenberg, meanwhile, retired Dec. 22. He had spent 35 years at golf courses run by the city of Overland Park, including being superintendent at St. Andrews since March 1987. "I've had three No. 1 holes here," says Rodenberg, a 34-year GCSAA member. The three men plan to be together again soon. They will be among those recognized this month at the HeartSafe Heroes Event sponsored by the Johnson County HeartSafe Foundation. The three men's message is to promote the need for AEDs. Temple's wife has also become involved. "She told me that about 27 people where she works have signed up for CPR training," Temple says. Howard Richman is GCM 's associate editor. Howard Richman Twitter: @GCM_Magazine Heart of the matter (inside gcm) Brian Temple is thankful for broken ribs. As a crew member at St. Andrews Golf Club in Overland Park, Kan. Temple and co-worker Justin Biens were preparing to do some weed- eating near the 11th hole mid-morning Sept. 11. Biens put on his headphones, started up his weedeater, looked over at Temple, and im - mediately knew something was terribly wrong. "He was lying on the ground, face down," Biens says. "I thought I whipped him with a rock." St. Andrews superintendent Terry Rodenberg was driving their way when Biens waved him over. Since that moment, none of their lives have been the same. A series of atypical occurrences happened that day — and Temple obviously was at the center of them. "He was not responding," Biens says. "I called 911." Rodenberg made his own call to the play manager at the clubhouse, who retrieved the AED (automated external defibrillator, which diagnoses life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, etc.) and began to hustle to them. Rodenberg started chest compressions (which can lead to broken ribs during CPR) on Temple for several minutes before the AED arrived. When Rodenberg's phone rang, Biens took over while Rodenberg answered crew member Chad Yankovich's call. He's the one who saw the emergency vehicle arrive and es - corted it to Temple's location. All the while, Temple's eyes were open as Rodenberg and Biens attended to him. "I didn't even think about Brian dying," Rodenberg says. "I've seen heart attacks on the course before. I knew the look." Eleven minutes after Biens' 911 call, the ambulance and paramedics arrived. It was determined that Temple had suffered sudden cardiac arrest. Two days later, he awoke in the hospital. "I came out of a pretty good sleep," says Temple, 50. A chain of events make his story intrigu - ing. Temple recalls the early morning of Sept. 11 as abnormal. "I didn't feel good. I felt odd. Funky. Something wasn't right," he says. Tem - ple still came to work. If he had stayed at home and suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, neither his wife, Karen, nor daughters Annie or Ellie would have been home. It was also a bit unusual that Temple and Biens were on the same hole. "Staffing is so Now-retired golf course superintendent Terry Rodenberg (far right) along with crew members Brian Temple (far left) and Justin Biens have quite a story to tell when recounting a frightening experience Sept. 11 at St. Andrews Golf Club in Overland Park, Kan. Photo by Howard Richman

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