La Center High School staff honored after saving life of 15-year-old student

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Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue honored a number of faculty members from La Center High School on June 23 for saving the life of a 15-year-old student who went into cardiac arrest at the school in late May.

Student Tristan Martell was released from the hospital on June 13 and was able to attend the ceremony. Fire Chief John Nohr addressed the audience by stressing how important it is for the public to know what to do during a medical emergency. Nohr said people need to act quickly to ensure the body is not depleted of oxygen and the heart remains beating.

“We really rely on community members to know CPR. We rely on community members to know how to use an AED, an automated external defibrillator, and we rely on them to jump in and make that happen,” Nohr said. “We had an incident on May 26 at La Center High School where a young person went into cardiac arrest, and we had several staff members at the school who jumped into action, and because of that, they made a difference in someone’s life.”

Nohr awarded the Fire Chief Lifesaving Award to Assistant Principal Daniel Ruiz, arts and drama teacher Sara Rideout, library technician Coral Yee, office assistant Denise Yuecko, and health and physical education teacher Denelle Eisland for their bravery while saving Martell’s life.

Nohr said Rideout was the first person to respond to the situation, as she immediately grabbed an AED once she saw Martell in cardiac arrest.

“An automated external defibrillator is a critical piece of equipment that can be used to save the life of a person in cardiac arrest,” Nohr said. “When a person suffers a cardiac arrest… the best method for correcting the problem is to defibrillate or shock the heart out of that rhythm.”



He also noted CPR is not enough to save a person’s life in a situation like that, which is why an AED is crucial to have on hand in public spaces like schools, churches or shopping centers.

Martell was happy to see his friends again after he recovered. He was able to see them right before the school year ended.

“I’m feeling great, same as normal before the accident,” Martell said. “It was nice getting back (to school) besides allergies. I got to see all my old friends, the friends that I have, and all my teachers and the people that helped me as I was there.”

Martell said he made the honor roll and received passing grades in his classes.

When he was in the hospital, Martell said he underwent surgery to implant a pacemaker in his chest. Although broken ribs are common from chest compressions during CPR, Martell said he had no broken ribs following the incident.

During the summer, Martell plans to hang out with his family and go boating with them. He also plans to get a job when he turns 16 in August.

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  • kelleyclan

    Your actions saved a life! Assistant Principal Daniel Ruiz, arts and drama teacher Sara Rideout, library technician Coral Yee, office assistant Denise Yuecko, and health and physical education teacher Denelle Eisland you make LaCenter proud! Well done!

    Wednesday, July 6 Report this