SUWANEE, Ga. — Three Gwinnett County Public Schools safety trainers were honored on Thursday for reviving a school bus driver after she lost consciousness during a recent training session.
The trio — Cindy Johnston, Sandy Purcell, and Dee Walls — were recognized by the American Heart Association and the Emergency Response Training and Support Services in a ceremony held at the Gwinnett County Public Schools transportation service center in Lawrenceville, according to a news release from the district. The three women were presented with a plaque at the ceremony and their names will be listed on the websites of both organizations.
The incident occurred during a training session for bus drivers on July 29. During the session, one of the drivers, identified as Felina Canon by WSBTV, experienced a seizure, lost consciousness, and stopped breathing.
A call was made to 9-1-1, but Johnston, Purcell, and Walls acted quickly to assist their coworker, Don Moore, the executive director of transportation for the district, wrote in a newsletter for the transportation department. The women moved their coworker to the floor and administered CPR until paramedics arrived.
Moore added that the paramedics worked on the driver for about 20 minutes, shocking her heart twice before they transported her to the hospital, before her pulse and blood pressure were restored.
Moore expressed pride in his team.
“The emergency room doctor said if Cindy, Sandy, and Dee had not jumped in and performed CPR, their coworker would not have made it,” he said. “This is an example of why CPR certification is required of all our drivers and monitors.”
“Some may wonder if the safety training our department does each year is necessary and makes a difference,” Moore wrote in the newsletter. “For one employee, the answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’”