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City staff, Cal High teacher honored for saving student's life

Divison manager: Rescue of teen who had a seizure in pool was an example of 'teamwork'

Four city staff members and one Cal High physical education teacher were recognized at a recent San Ramon City Council meeting for collectively saving the life of a student in late October.

The Cal High student was swimming at the San Ramon Olympic Pool as part of a P.E. class when she experienced a seizure and became unconscious. The quick response from the gym teacher, lifeguard and staff saved the student from drowning, said Kathi Heimann, the city's division manager who introduced the five at the meeting.

"It's really a part of the partnership that we have with Cal High that made the safety net for the student and for the community possible," Heimann said.

On Thursday, Oct. 26, P.E. teacher Lenard Matthew's gym class was in a three-week swimming unit, which was held at the neighboring San Ramon Olympic Pool on Broadmoor Drive. As class was ending and the students were lining up to leave, Matthews noticed a student was face down in the water, at an "awkward moment" in the class, he said.

"So awkward in fact that it immediately got my attention," he said. "I started to move around toward the student, and I noticed -- the student was face down -- but I noticed the body convulse. And that's when I knew there was something wrong."

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He gave an emergency call out to the other students, got them all out of the pool, and then jumped in himself.

While he was in the pool, Matthews heard the lifeguard, Alyssa Arno, call for assistance. Arno was also honored at the Nov. 28 council meeting, at which time Matthews commended her for remaining "cool as a cucumber" and "awesome" throughout the ordeal.

By the time Matthews pulled the student out of the pool and brought her to the deck, Arno had made it to the scene. She checked the student's vitals, finding the student had no pulse and was not breathing. Arno immediately began performing CPR.

After about three cycles of CPR, Matthews said, the student regained consciousness. The student, it was later determined, had experienced an seizure in the pool.

Three others were also recognized for their assistance and preparedness in the incident. Aquatic staff members Kevin Boggs had the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) on the ready for Arno, while fellow aquatics staff member Andrew Hubbard called 9-1-1 and managed the rest of the facility while the incident was going on. Scott Gering from the public works department took over the 9-1-1 call for Hubbard and led emergency services to the pool deck when they arrived.

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The student is now fine, back in school, and "all is well," Heimann said.

"You guys are well-trained, and you know what to do," said councilman Harry Sachs. "That makes all the difference."

All of the honorees thanked the council for the honor.

"This is kind of what the job's all about, just making sure everyone stays safe in the community, and everyone is able to enjoy their life," Arno said. "So thank you so much for the recognition."

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City staff, Cal High teacher honored for saving student's life

Divison manager: Rescue of teen who had a seizure in pool was an example of 'teamwork'

by Erika Alvero /

Uploaded: Fri, Dec 22, 2017, 5:58 pm
Updated: Mon, Dec 25, 2017, 4:34 pm

Four city staff members and one Cal High physical education teacher were recognized at a recent San Ramon City Council meeting for collectively saving the life of a student in late October.

The Cal High student was swimming at the San Ramon Olympic Pool as part of a P.E. class when she experienced a seizure and became unconscious. The quick response from the gym teacher, lifeguard and staff saved the student from drowning, said Kathi Heimann, the city's division manager who introduced the five at the meeting.

"It's really a part of the partnership that we have with Cal High that made the safety net for the student and for the community possible," Heimann said.

On Thursday, Oct. 26, P.E. teacher Lenard Matthew's gym class was in a three-week swimming unit, which was held at the neighboring San Ramon Olympic Pool on Broadmoor Drive. As class was ending and the students were lining up to leave, Matthews noticed a student was face down in the water, at an "awkward moment" in the class, he said.

"So awkward in fact that it immediately got my attention," he said. "I started to move around toward the student, and I noticed -- the student was face down -- but I noticed the body convulse. And that's when I knew there was something wrong."

He gave an emergency call out to the other students, got them all out of the pool, and then jumped in himself.

While he was in the pool, Matthews heard the lifeguard, Alyssa Arno, call for assistance. Arno was also honored at the Nov. 28 council meeting, at which time Matthews commended her for remaining "cool as a cucumber" and "awesome" throughout the ordeal.

By the time Matthews pulled the student out of the pool and brought her to the deck, Arno had made it to the scene. She checked the student's vitals, finding the student had no pulse and was not breathing. Arno immediately began performing CPR.

After about three cycles of CPR, Matthews said, the student regained consciousness. The student, it was later determined, had experienced an seizure in the pool.

Three others were also recognized for their assistance and preparedness in the incident. Aquatic staff members Kevin Boggs had the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) on the ready for Arno, while fellow aquatics staff member Andrew Hubbard called 9-1-1 and managed the rest of the facility while the incident was going on. Scott Gering from the public works department took over the 9-1-1 call for Hubbard and led emergency services to the pool deck when they arrived.

The student is now fine, back in school, and "all is well," Heimann said.

"You guys are well-trained, and you know what to do," said councilman Harry Sachs. "That makes all the difference."

All of the honorees thanked the council for the honor.

"This is kind of what the job's all about, just making sure everyone stays safe in the community, and everyone is able to enjoy their life," Arno said. "So thank you so much for the recognition."

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