FRANKLIN – Paul Watson heard his mother scream and he knew his life would change forever.
His quick thinking and practical application of skills learned at school saved his father’s life in a real life emergency.
The Franklin High School junior, who is in the Warren County Career Center Criminal Justice program, was upstairs at home the morning of Saturday, April 26, when his mother, Donna Walker, began calling him for help.
Paul said he wasn’t sure what was wrong, but soon found his father, Greg Watson, unconscious on the kitchen floor.
Paul said his “training in the criminal justice program kicked in” instead of fear, and he knew he needed to call 911.
“We had to stay calm,” he explained. “I kept up the chest compressions, and the lady on 911 said to only do those, not the breathing.”
Because of his recent CPR training at WCCC, he knew how to do those compressions and continued until the ambulance arrived.
“The heart doctor said that without CPR, my dad would have died,” said Paul. “My dad is doing well and now out of the hospital.”
Paul said although he wasn’t expecting to use his life-saving skills at home, the students in the criminal justice program participate in practice drills to learn how to respond in an emergency.
“I believe that this unfortunate event had a positive outcome, because Paul Watson paid attention in class and was able to replicate his training under extreme stress,” said instructor Jeff Piper. “Because of his calm demeanor and immediate action Mr. Watson, Paul’s father, is alive today.”
Piper said students in the two-year program become certified in First Aid, CPR, portable defibrillators and the incident command system used by FEMA. Students also learn basic self-defense tactics and fitness training.
According to Piper, Paul will explore numerous occupations in the criminal justice field, including police officer, corrections officer, bailiff, court officer, paralegal, attorney, military service, legal support and public safety services.
When asked what career he would like to pursue, Paul said he is still considering his options, including military police, but knows, “I want to help people.”
All WCCC high school students participate in the American Heart Association CPR course as a part of their programs under the direction of school nurse Sharon Moeller.
“Everyone should know CPR/AED and First Aid in case they are somewhere and an emergency arises,” said Moeller, noting that students leave WCCC with a two-year CPR certification. “It is important to know for home and in the workplace.”
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