LAFAYETTE, La. — At Lafayette’s L.J. Alleman Middle School on Monday, a 12-year old boy went into cardiac arrest in the school gym. Trained staff zoomed into action, performing CPR and using a school defibrillator.
“He was in class at the time,” begins Principal Eric Luquette, “and he went into cardiac arrest. We had teachers on site to be able to be able to do CPR and we had an AED machine— a defibrillator— to be able to help with compressions of the chest as well.”
A key tool to saving the boy’s life and getting him to the nearest hospital? The aforementioned AED, or Automated External Defibrulator.“I gotta say it’s one of those things you don’t think you’re gonna use, especially at this level,” explains Luquette as he ponders having two defibrillators on campus. But I will say 100% I’m happy that I had it on site and we were able to utilize it to help a student.”
And the other element in working this life-saving miracle? Having trained personnel on hand folks who knew how to use the AED; that’s something Lafayette firefighter Colin Comeaux was key in this situation. “It’s extremely important, because I think that’s what saved this kid’s life. It’s having somebody trained on campus. You know, you have a fire station within three-to-five mnutes of pretty much anywhere in the city. But those three-to-five minutes can be very critical.”
But backtrack, because time was of the essence. Emergency personnel were still a couple minutes away. That required students and teachers to work together and save a life.
“I would venture to say it was a combination of both,” adds Luquette. “I think my teachers and students once they realized the situation was occurring they acted as quickly as possible to help the student out.”
And a perfect way to end this is via a message of gratitude from LPSS Superintendent Irma Trosclair to the staff of L.J. Alleman.
“I’d like to commend and thank that staff from the bottom of my heart for the way they took training seriously and sprung into action without hesitation.”