Remy Byrne and Kyle Simmons are well aware how crucial having life-saving skills can be.
The two Level 2 students at Corner Brook Regional High School were among around 70 students who participated in a cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation training course offered by St. John Ambulance at the school Wednesday morning.
While it may not have been a cardiac arrest crisis, Byrne and Simmons found themselves unexpectedly involved in a different emergency situation about one year ago.
The two were in a group snowmobiling in the Lewis Hills area. They had stopped to assist someone whose machine had broken down.
Another person there hopped on his machine to turn it around. While doing that, the young man struck his head on a tree.
He had not put his helmet back on for the brief manoeuvre and it was soon obvious he had hit his head hard.
“He had a big goose egg on his head,” recalled Simmons.
The injured rider insisted he was fine. Byrne and Simmons took his word for it at first.
“There was a girl with us who knew first aid and she recognized he was showing possible signs of a concussion and hypothermia,” said Byrne.
They ended up wrapping the injured man in a warm blanket and got him out of the woods and to the hospital as quickly as they could.
They never realized it at the time, but their actions helped save this person’s life.
“It turned out that he had some internal bleeding on his brain,” Byrne said. “They told us if we had been another half an hour or so longer, he might have died.”
After Wednesday’s training, Byrne and Simmons have the knowledge to help someone experiencing cardiac arrest. They hope they never have to use it, but are only too glad to have the ability to recognize and respond to such an emergency.
They already know from experience that a situation can get serious in a hurry and without warning.
“You never know when you might need it,” said Simmons.