One afternoon in October, Mathieu Dubé, a Hubert-Maisonneuve physical education teacher, and his students were on their way to the park, when a student ran up to let him know that a young girl in his group had collapsed near the school. Immediately, Mathieu rushed towards the young girl. “She wasn’t breathing and the colour of her skin had already changed,” he recalls.
Quickly, Mathieu called 911 and asked a few of his students to go get help and to look for a defibrillator. With the help of the educational supervisor, Sylvie Brunet, Mathieu started the CPR.
“I did the compressions and Mathieu did the breathing, then I took over the breathing while Mathieu did the compressions,” Sylvie recounts.
With the instructions of the school’s Automated External Defibrillator (AED), the duo delivered a shock before the arrival of the first respondents. “Sylvie and I continued with the compressions while the paramedics installed their own defibrillator,” says Mathieu. Upon the second shock administered by the defibrillator, the student’s heart started beating again. She was then transported to the hospital by the paramedics.
After a weekend of worrying, Sylvie and Mathieu were relieved to hear that the young girl was alive thanks to their help. The student has since returned to school and is doing well. “I now get a hug from her every week,” says Sylvie.
Mathieu was trained in CPR by ACT’s instructor-trainer Benoît Lorrain. “The ability to react quickly during an emergency is our civic duty. The more people are trained in CPR, the safer we all are,” says Benoît.
“The ACT Foundation enabled me to get involved again; it made me realize the value of CPR in the school environment,” shares Mathieu. “It’s important to have as many people trained as possible, especially because the skill is so simple to learn,” he adds.
The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is an award-winning, national charitable organization dedicated to establishing CPR and AED training programs in high schools across Canada. ACT raises funds to donate mannequins and teacher training to schools, and guides schools in program set-up and long-term sustainability. Over 3.2 million youth have been trained in CPR by their teachers through this lifesaving program to date.