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Harrow District High School teacher Steve is a passionate instructor and advocate for the ACT High School CPR Program – so much so, that he has created an entire classroom of heroes.

Multiple students who have learned the program from Steve have reacted to emergency situations, and while Steve humbly says he is just doing his job – because of his work and his students’ efforts, many lives have been touched.

“The first circumstance was around this time last year when a young girl had a seizure in class,” said Steve. “I am one of the school’s first aid representatives so they came and got me.”

“She was lying on the floor,” he said. “But after we called 911 and other teachers were assisting the student, I rushed back to my boys’ gym class.”

“He came into the classroom and said ‘there’s been a girl who had a seizure – you guys know what to do, go do it,’” said 16-year-old Spencer.

“We knew we had to help direct the ambulance to the right part of the school,” said Spencer. “She had her seizure at the back part of the school, so if they came to the front they would have wasted too much time.”

Spencer, along with several other students, set up a team of people to wave the ambulance in the right direction.

“I was at the end of the road waving the ambulance into the school parking lot,” said Cameron, 16, adding that other students were staggered around the school to direct the ambulance.

“It was so the paramedics could get to the person who was injured as fast as possible, instead of having time spent going to the office to find out where that person is,” said Cameron. “Every minute can be crucial in someone’s life, so this was a very important thing.”

“Steve told me to run to the far doors and hold the door open for the paramedics so they could get the stretcher in,” said 16-year-old Matt.

Matt says that because he helped in this emergency, he knows he could help in another.

“I was a little shocked at first, but it was actually pretty cool to be a part of,” said Matt. “If there is ever another incident, I know that I would know what to do.”

This isn’t the only case of Steve’s students reacting in an emergency. Davis, 17, also found himself in a situation where he needed to help manage the scene of an accident.

“I was playing in a men’s softball league and one night during a play two men actually collided,” said Davis. “One guy got a knee to the head and he was knocked right out.”

“Right when it happened everyone was in shock and scared,” said Davis. “But I just jumped up.”

“I told one guy to call 911 and say they that there had been an accident,” said Davis. “We also had a few people who had first aid training so I sent them over to see if they could help.”

“Then we set up four different stations and I was out on the road telling the ambulance where to go, what happened, and giving them all the information they needed,” Davis continued. “We were playing in a secluded ball park that was pretty far away from the road and outside of town, so I knew they would need help with directions.”

“When I thanked my teacher, he told me to take credit for my work and not to pass the credit to him,” said Davis. “He said he just gave us the information, but I learned it and put the training to work.”

“But he’s such a great guy – and the teaching methods he uses are great,” said Davis. “He really stressed to us that it doesn’t matter how old you are, you shouldn’t assume that the older people will react. “

“My kids have been outstanding,” said Steve of his students. “Everyone enjoys the program. They like it and they learn from it, then they tell their parents about it.”

“As a student, some lessons you learn are more interesting than others,” said Steve. “But when I’m teaching CPR to these kids they are wide-eyed, listening, and pumped to learn it.”

“The program is great because it teaches you to help save lives,” said Steve. “It is as simple as that.”

The ACT High School CPR Program was made possible in Harrow District High School thanks to the generous support of ACT’s partners including community partners DaimlerChrysler Canada Inc. and the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) Local 444. ACT’s provincial partners are the Government of Ontario, Hydro One 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. The Windsor Star donated printing of the student manuals at no cost for this school.

Also responsible are ACT’s core partners, companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry: AstraZeneca, 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.