Web posted Wednesday, March 27, 2002

photo: news

 
Soldotna High School physical education teacher Sohail Marey supervises as freshman Joe Smith prepares to perform rescue breathing on a mannequin. Smith is one of 24 students in Mareypis fourth-period freshmen P.E. class. The students tested their life-saving skills on the Soldotna High pool balcony before spring break.

Soldotna High students learn first aid techniques Studying to save lives

By JENNI DILLON
Peninsula Clarion

Katy Pankoski walks into the room, finding a person lying on the floor unconscious. After checking the scene for safety and sending a bystander to call 911, Pankoski checks the victim's breath, administers rescue breathing, checks the pulse and begins CPR.

At least, that's the scenario the Soldotna High School freshman and her peers acted out earlier this month while testing emergency skills in Sohail Marey's physical education class.

Students in Marey's three freshman classes spent seven periods learning basic first aid techniques including CPR and rescue breathing. The training came at the end of a unit on swimming and basic water safety, where students learned how to rescue others without endangering themselves.

"At the conclusion, we work with the scenario that a person may be hurt and finish the cycle by activating our emergency response plan," Marey explained. "We teach this class in the hope that they're never going to have to do it."

To test their skills, Marey had each student come forward one-by-one and act out a scene with special mannequins.

The students did not know exactly what type of scenario they were entering and had to respond based on Marey's explanation of the scene.

"I think it would be a lot different (in a real emergency). You would panic a lot more," Pankoski said. "But I'm a lot more prepared than I was before this class."

Pankoski's classmate Jessica Steward agreed.

"Before I was in this class, I didn't know any of this stuff," she said.

"It's very much an introduction in the hope they will be volunteering or helping the community in a disaster, if it arises," Marey said. "It's just something I feel very good doing."

Students in the class had the opportunity to apply for Red Cross CPR certification after completin the course.

"Some of them are very proud of it," Marey said. "And I get so much approval from the parents. Every parent gets so excited that their kids are doing that."

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