Mr. Woelker Saves a Student
NEIRAD enilno edition
Every student will learn about First Aid during his or her time at Darien High School. The class is taught once every four years, which means that students will take the class once during their time at DHS. The Physical Education Department teaches the class, taking up one quarter of a students’ gym period. When students take this class, many see it as a waste of class time, passing it off as irrelevant to their life; many during this class will either cut, sleep, or do other work. However, there is a reason that the Board of Education thought it necessary to include this as a required class. And recently, DHS experienced a time where First Aid was needed.
On Monday April 11th 2011, a teacher at Darien High School found himself in a situation that called for First Aid. While teaching his English Class, Mr. Woelker noticed a student acting out of the ordinary. At first Mr. Woelker noticed the student turning blue in the face and thought she was going to be sick. However, after assessing the situation properly, he could tell that the problem was very serious. He quickly diagnosed that the student was choking on something that had been consumed and the Heimlich maneuver was necessary to help. As Mr. Woelker performed the procedure, the student showed little improvement, becoming bluer in the face, and so Mr. Woelker repeated the maneuver and finally the student coughed up the food that had been the cause of the choking.
During the whole situation, Mr. Woelker felt a heavy responsibility on his shoulders. He said, “I was in front of the room, everybody looked to me.” Instead of cracking under pressure, Mr. Woelker was able to take on the responsibility presented to him. Junior Caroline Schau said, “I was not surprised one bit when I heard that Mr. Woelker was able to handle this tough situation that not all teachers would be able to manage. I truly admire his remarkable deed and it just goes to show how multifaceted his capabilities are. DHS is lucky to have such a responsible teacher in its work force.” Classmate Aidan Hickey adds, “Fortunately, Mr. Woelker was there to help a student in need and he could not have done a better job.”
Later in the day, the shock of what had occurred in his class settled in. He said that he was “shaken up” by the event after realizing the significance of what had happened. Other thoughts started to creep their way into his head. He had not thought about what could have happened if he had not helped, or what could have happened if he did not know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver. He was relieved that he had been able to do everything right.
The news spread through the school like wildfire; the school’s population could not believe that such an incident could occur in a safe environment like DHS. Junior Patrick Fitzsimmons said, “I just never thought that I would hear about a time at Darien High School where the First Aid class would come in handy.” Hickey also said, “It just goes to show that learning [first aid] in health class is very important and should probably be taught to freshman.” This event will hopefully prove that paying attention in class can literally save the life of a person. Junior Russell Palmer says it best: “This event proves… that we should know how to perform these life saving tasks, like how Mr. Woelker did.”
Mr. Woelker’s actions have earned him praise from many students at Darien High School. Patrick said, "[Darien High School] is lucky to have a guy like Mr. Woelker around, a true hero."