While attending an ice hockey tournament on Lake Placid in late January, Calhoun senior Austin McLoughlin sprung into action after a player was struck in the head and began having a seizure on the ice.
“He actually excused an individual that was inappropriately administering CPR and took charge over the situation,” explained physical education teacher James Raucci. “He administered chest compressions after checking vitals, and when no heartbeat was present, he continued CPR.”
Austin was able to establish a heart rate and moved the man into the recovery position. The first responders arrived and took over from that point as Austin said he quietly walked away.
"The most important thing is that we are teaching the students the right way to do this," said Eric Caballero, director of Physical Education, Athletics, Driver’s Education & Health.
“Austin attributes his swift course of action to the training he has received through physical education,” said Raucci.
“We are proud of Austin and thankful he and others have benefited from the January First Aid and CPR course,” added Calhoun Principal Nicole Hollings.
This course, which has been administered throughout the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District for the past few years, is financially funded by Forever 9 - The Robbie Levine Foundation.
Founded in 2005 in memory of 9-year-old Robbie Levine of Merrick, who died of sudden cardiac arrest at his little league practice, the foundation raises awareness of the need for AEDs in youth sports.
While it is a new New York State Education Department mandate that high schools expose their students to AED training and hands-on CPR administration, the district has been implementing this over the past three years.
“It started as a pilot program at Merrick Avenue Middle School when my son was attending the school and then over the years we added it to more buildings,” said Jill Levine, founder of The Robbie Levine Foundation.
Incorporated as a two-week course during the physical education curriculum, The Levine Foundation also awards students a certificate of completion.
“We are proud of Austin and thankful he and others have benefited from the January First Aid and CPR course,” Hollings added.