Sixth graders took turnabout leaning over training mannequins using all their strength-
performing compressions one after another. They were learning the safety practice procedure for
An entire class of students took the assignment very seriously working to save each of their
mock victims in the alleged emergency. Integrated Health and Physical Education Teacher Bronda Pace-
Bertram, was down on her knees helping each student master the lifesaving technique, while
simultaneously explaining the procedure.
While the students embraced the hands-on exercise, some said, “My arms hurt…this is tiring,”
once they had mastered the technique.
The teacher told them, “Do you have any idea what the EMS workers or Rescue Squad members
go through in these situations? Our very own Mr. Decker (a WCMS teacher) is a member of the Rescue
Squad. Do you ever think about what teachers or police officers or emergency personnel go through to
She said students were not gaining a CPR certification from the lesson, but she was merely
passing on valuable information to them in case they ever face an emergency first aid situation. “At least
they’ll know to do compressions when a victim is not responsive and not experiencing normal
The students also learned about the Automatic External Defibrillator machine, known as the
AED, in the nearby hallway that can be used in an emergency. She told the students that District Health
Coordinator Patty Burton regularly checks the unit to make sure it is in working order. In fact, the
machine does an automatic weekly self-check insuring it is ready to go.
She taught the students that it is easier to stay calm in an emergency if you know the clear steps
to follow – Check. Call. Care. She explained before rushing to someone’s aid; make sure the area is safe.
That means there is no heavy traffic, fire, downed power lines, or other dangerous situations nearby. If
the area is safe, check the injured person to see what is wrong. Then call 911 or ask an adult for help.
Once you have called for help, you can offer to help the injured person by giving first aid.
She stressed, “Never put yourself in danger when you’re trying to help someone else. For
example, do not walk onto a highway, go into the ocean, or run into a burning building. You don’t want
emergency responders to have to rescue you, too.”
She mentioned the Good Samaritan Law that protects individuals from being sued in a court of
law, who reasonably attempt to rescue or aid someone.
Her advice for judging when to stop CPR was when the victim regains consciousness, the AED
machine arrives and the power is turned on, when the professionals arrive, when a new danger poses a
threat, or when you become too exhausted to continue.
Following the pre-test to introduce the lesson and learn the students’ knowledge, the teacher
believed that most of her students proved that they had a greater understanding of knowing what to do
in a situation that calls for bystander community CPR, during the performance based assessment stage.
“I’m proud of the students’ interest and their compassion for others,” said the teacher. “They
took this seriously.”
(r-l): Scarlett Sumner, Katie Buswell, Wyatt Stinson, Tessa Wilson work on compression exercises
6th grader Scarlett Sumner
Physical Education/Health teacher Bronda Pace-Bertram assisted Wyatt Stinson with his compressions
Instructor Bronda Pace-Bertram pointed out instructions to her students as she explained that it is easier to stay calm in an emergency if you follow the proper steps
Students listen for breathing before starting compressions
6th grader Kensey Bowlin learned safety tips from her Teacher Bronda Pace-Bertram