District 300 staff members jump into action when student collapses
Officials credit good staff training and the availability of automated external defibrillators with helping save the life of a Dundee-Crown High School student-athlete who collapsed during basketball practice.
The 17-year-old was jumping rope in the school gym the afternoon of Nov. 17 when he went into cardiac arrest and became unresponsive.
Within seconds, coaches jumped into action. They did CPR and then used an AED to shock the teen.
Athletic Director Steve Gertz said trainer Brenna Tschida and coaches Connor Loehrke, Bob Sweeney and Lance Huber were instrumental in attending to the student, while maintenance employee Jesse Martinez was quick to notify others on the radio that help was needed.
After-school staff called 911. Carpentersville Police Officer Jason Nilles was first on the scene and took over CPR until fire department paramedics arrived, according to Fire Chief John-Paul Schilling.
The student had a heartbeat, was breathing and was taken to the hospital for additional treatment, officials said.
"The CPR training and AED training that our district requires for all of our coaches saved a life," Gertz said of Algonquin-based Community Unit District 300. "Our emergency plan that we hope never to use worked."
Superintendent Fred Heid and school board members last month honored staff involved in the emergency response. And the fire chief presented lifesaving awards to Loehrke, Sweeney, Tschida and Nilles at a Carpentersville village board meeting.
"The proper application of your training and equipment exemplifies your dedication to the preservation of a life and service to our community," Schilling told them.
Dundee-Crown has six AEDs. District 300 has 50 in total, located throughout the district's 27 schools in the Fox Valley and Northwest suburbs. All of the machines are being replaced with newer ones as part of a replacement cycle buyback program, according to the superintendent.
The new devices have better monitoring software, he said, which means anytime an AED triggers, it reads for a heart rate and will only shock accordingly.
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