Tanner and his mother Susan have always had a very close relationship with their former superintendent, Bob. Tanner has worked with Bob for years, they regularly see movies, go bowling, and the three of them often enjoy family-style dinners together.
So when 62-year-old Bob collapsed after shoveling snow one morning, Tanner said he was terrified for his good friend’s life.
“After he fell he lay there and was just staring blankly,” said the 17-year-old. “I thought he was gone.”
It was because of his training earlier that year in the ACT High School CPR Program that Tanner says he knew how to react.
“I started doing CPR as soon as it happened,” said Tanner, adding that he never thought he would even use the training that he received at Lakefield District Secondary School, just north of Peterborough.
Tanner now says he can barely remember what happened or recall what he was thinking while he performed CPR to save Bob’s life. But his mother Susan, who called 9-1-1, says she remembers the event very well.
“Tanner was just so calm and focused on what he was supposed to be doing,” said Susan. “I was just watching my son do this and I was completely in awe.”
“The fact that this training is happening in the schools is amazing,” said Susan. “I was really pleased that he learned it – and isn’t it remarkable that he saved someone’s life?”
Bob certainly thinks so.
“For him to take charge and make everyone back up so he could do compressions is incredible,” said Bob. “He took charge of the whole situation – and I’ve been told there were about 15 grown-ups crowding the doorway.”
Ken, Tanner’s phys-ed teacher, has been teaching the ACT High School CPR Program for about two years. Even he was surprised that one of his students used the training to save someone’s life.
“I’m impressed and I’m surprised,” said Ken. “This program is probably the most significant thing that I have ever taught.”
Tanner is very humble when he speaks about the incident.
“Doctors said if I didn’t do CPR he probably wouldn’t be alive today,” said Tanner. “But he had heart surgery, he came home, and he is healthy coming out of it.”
“Everyone has asked me how I feel,” said Tanner, with a chuckle. “I feel good that I accomplished this and I am happy that he is alive.”
The ACT High School CPR Program was made possible in the Lakefield District Secondary School thanks to the generous support of ACT’s lead community partner TransCanada Corporation. Provincial partners include the Government of Ontario, Hydro One, Shoppers Drug Mart and the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Mannequins and curriculum resources were donated to the school and the teachers were trained as CPR instructors for their students. Also responsible are ACT’s core partners, companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry: AstraZeneca Canada, Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada, Pfizer Canada and sanofi-aventis. They provide ACT’s sustaining funding and are committed to the Foundation’s national goal of promoting health and empowering Canadians to save lives.
The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is an award-winning, national charitable organization dedicated to establishing CPR in high schools across Canada. ACT raises funds to donate mannequins, teacher training, manuals and other materials to schools and guides schools in program set-up and long-term sustainability. Teachers teach CPR to their students as a regular part of the curriculum. More than 900,000 youth have been trained in CPR through this lifesaving program to date.