Oakland school staff members hailed as heroes after saving boy with no pulse

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Friday, June 9, 2017
Oakland school staff members hailed as heroes after saving boy with no pulse
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Jim Dolan has the lifesaving story.

OAKLAND, New Jersey (WABC) -- Three school staff members are being hailed as heroes after they saved the life of a ninth-grade student who collapsed during gym class in New Jersey Thursday.

The incident happened at Indian Hills High School in Oakland just after 2 p.m.

Superintendent Beverly MacKay said the student became unresponsive in the gymnasium, and an emergency team consisting of two school nurses and another staff member responded. The teenage boy had no pulse, and one of the staff members performed chest compressions to keep blood flowing. The other two then revived the boy with a defibrillator.

"He jolted up, and literally, within seconds, he seemed to not come to, but you could see a reaction from him," physical education teacher Rich Ohren said. "He was noticeably uncomfortable, he was probably in pain from everything, probably scared, all that kind of stuff that would go through his mind. And things went from there."

The school nurses, Donna Garbaccio and Lisa Wasserman, spend years working in emergency rooms and were the right people at the right time. Ohren actually teaches staff and faculty how to use the AED, but he said he had never before seen it in action.

MacKay said she spoke with the student's doctor, who said without a doubt the actions taken by staff members at the school saved the boy's life.

He is being transferred to another hospital but is said to be doing well. His identity is not being released.

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