MARION — Marion High School coach Kurt Gillespie said his first-hour gym class began as a normal day until he and a few students noticed that a student had collapsed to the floor.
Gillespie said he was aware the situation was serious when the student attempted to stand on his feet and collapsed again. Gillespie said the student’s symptoms led him to believe the student may have been suffering heart trouble.
“I knew his heart wasn’t working very well because I could barely feel a pulse, and his breathing was really shallow,” Gillespie said. “The students were all shocked.”
Gillespie said he later discovered that the student had suffered from a cardiac arrest.
Gillespie said he immediately asked for someone to call 911. Staff member Chad Jenema then grabbed the school’s automatic external defibrillator and administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation until paramedics arrived, Gillespie said.
Former superintendent Greg Mikulich said he was in the building during the emergency. Mikulich said he can only remember one other time in the last 10 years when a student required such emergency assistance. However, he said it’s critical that staff members have a knowledge of the steps necessary to save a student’s life.
“Having emergency training is important, because you never know when you are going to need it,” Mikulich said. “These staff members saved someone’s life.”
Gillespie said he gives much of the credit to the school’s AED. Gillespie said he believes all institutions should have an AED on hand in case of emergency situations.
“You can be trained, but having that piece of equipment really calms you down and makes you feel confident in what you are doing,” Gillespie said.
Original Article By: Antonio Coleman