With the aid of a first-grade student, Payson Elementary smoothly handled their first medical emergency since the reorganization.
Wednesday afternoon, after first-grader Karissa Parker had finished lunch, played on the monkey bars at recess and waited in line to return to her classroom, she told her teacher, Jessica Plain, she felt nauseous.
Plain suggested Karissa go to the bathroom to take a drink of water and try to feel better, said school nurse Laurie Lindell.
“Karissa has known food allergies and her parents have been very been proactive giving us information and prescription medications,” said Lindell.
While in the restroom, another first-grader from a different class, Hailey Bramlet, noticed Karissa was becoming quite gray in the face and having difficulty breathing. Hailey started pulling her down the hallway insisting that Karissa “get help from an adult,” said Lindell.
Back in Plain’s room, her students reported that Karissa wasn’t doing well.
“My kids were fabulous. I was on the phone with a parent and they came to me saying, “Mrs. Plain, someone is gray.” They didn’t panic and they all pitched in to make sure Karissa was OK,” said Plain.
Plain and school staff made sure Karissa got to the nurse quickly. Plain had another teacher cover her classroom.
As Lindell administered epinephrine and called 911, school secretary Laura Pederson took vitals while office aide Juline Curtis answered phones, said Lindell.
“Everyone worked together to make sure not a second was lost,” said Lindell.
Principal Donna Haught oversaw contacting Karissa’s parents and the paramedics. She has seen a lot in her 25 years in education, but having the children involved as much as they were is a first for her.
“In all my years in education, I haven’t seen a student ever get so involved. In fact the way all the students were making sure Karissa was taken care of, this doesn’t happen a lot,” said Haught.
After administering emergency aid, Lindell turned Karissa over to paramedics. Karissa’s mom, Amy Parker arrived to escort her daughter to the hospital where she is recovering nicely, reported Parker in a phone call to Haught on Thursday.
As it turns out, the daughter of Payson battalion fire chief Danny Bramble is in Plain’s first-grade class. Plain asked Bramble to come to the class to talk to the students about emergencies and to answer questions. After the previous day’s disturbance, the students had fears that Bramble helped to alleviate, said Plain.
“Yesterday, someone in your class had a medical emergency. I’m here to talk about what to do when someone is hurt or needs help,” said Bramble.
He went on to ask the children what would constitute an emergency. The kids responded with examples from blue faces, to broken legs to burned hands.
“What do you do if there is an emergency?” asked Bramble.
“Tell an adult,” said the class.
“Yes. Tell an adult. What if there is no adult around?” said Bramble.
The class didn’t have an answer.
“If you have a phone, call 911. The fire department or the police will answer your call and come to help,” said Bramble.
At the end of the presentation, Bramble handed out activity books, pencils and erasers for the kids to learn more about firemen and how they can help.
Each person involved in the emergency, from the school nurse to the teacher to administration praised the group effort to ensure the safety of Karissa.
“We are a team, we are a family and the kids are our top priority,” said Lindell.