The 16-year-old says he didn’t have to think twice about stopping that night in 2005 – he knew he had to help.
“I was nervous and surprised,” says Oren. “I just couldn’t leave him there. I had to do something.”
Luckily, the skills he learned through the ACT High School CPR Program came back to him. “I didn’t really think about what I was doing. It all came naturally.”
Oren approached the man. When he realized he was unconscious he immediately called 9-1-1 – one of the first steps in ACT’s lifesaving program. He stayed by the man’s side while waiting for the ambulance and talked to him as he regained consciousness. When the man started to move, Oren ran back to his car and grabbed an emergency blanket to keep him warm.
Luckily, the man survived. But Oren knows that if he hadn’t been there to act, the outcome could have been much different. “If I hadn’t stopped, he could have frozen to death,” he says. “I feel like I really did something – I feel proud that I did it. It’s pretty incredible to be able to change someone’s life.”
Oren had taken the ACT High School CPR Program just a month earlier at Kitscoty Junior/Senior High School. Until this life-changing incident, he says he thought he would never have to put his skills into action.
“The program helped make me more aware of what’s happening around me,” he says. “I didn’t think I’d ever be able to use what I had learned in class. I was wrong.”
Brian, Oren’s Grade 10 teacher says he’s happy to know that the students are absorbing what they’re being taught in class. “You don’t have to convince me of the importance of CPR,” he says. “This is a bonus for me, knowing that it is being applied.”
As for Oren, he credits the ACT High School CPR Program with preparing him how to react.
“The program was very useful because – without a doubt – I wouldn’t have known what to do other than call 9-1-1,” he says.
“If someone was wondering whether or not they should take the program, I would say go for it.”
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. Over 1 million youth have been trained in CPR through this lifesaving program to date.