Conn. teachers awarded for saving student with CPR

Kevin DeAngelo and Marcia Sher-Kalter said their CPR first aid certification and lifeguard training helped them respond quickly


By Erin Kayata
The Advocate 

STAMFORD, Conn. — A student getting a headache during a Monday morning gym class isn’t unusual.

But warning bells went off for Westhill High School teachers Kevin DeAngelo and Marcia Sher-Kalter when one student said she was dizzy and had a headache during swim class.

DeAngelo dismissed the class into the locker room, while Sher-Kalter brought the student out of the pool.

While DeAngelo was notifying the nurse, he heard a cry for help.

“Call 911!”

Sher-Kalter called to DeAngelo after the student fell backward and did not have a pulse. DeAngelo called 911, while school administrators grabbed the AED and Sher-Kalter began CPR.

Sher-Kalter revived the student after two sets of compressions and rescue breaths and did not need the defibrillator. The student was taken to the hospital and has made a full recovery.

“Accidents happen often, especially in Phys Ed,” said DeAngelo, who’s been teaching swim for 13 years. “You’re playing sports. Kids are going to have bumps and bruises. It’s part of sports. With this, it was a little bit different of a situation where the kid was never submerged in the water. She was just complaining of a headache...In the water, every precaution is necessary. The water adds a whole different element.”

Sher-Kalter and DeAngelo said their CPR first aid certification and lifeguard training helped them respond quickly.

“Everyone should know how to do it,” Sher-Kalter said. “In a split second, anything can happen. If you know what to do, you could make a big difference.”

They have each been awarded the American Red Cross lifesaving award, one of the highest given by the organization.

Sher-Kalter emphasized the importance of learning CPR. A volunteer ambulance driver in Pound Ridge, N.Y., she’s used her skills before on her second job. Sophomores at Westhill High School also learn CPR as part of their health curriculum.

Copyright 2018 The Advocate 

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