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CPR lessons put to use

Jack Carrerow
Nevada Appeal News Service
Laura Herrea, 13, left, Brooke Menning, 13, and Alfredo Morales, 12, practice CPR Tuesday during PE class at Incline Middle School. Wednesday, Menning put her emergency lessons to practice when a mini van drove off a bluff near Sand Harbor. ABOVE: Emerald Bay Towing prepares to pull the van up Wednesday afternoon.
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Incline Middle School seventh-grader Brooke Menning was just assimilating what she learned at the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District-sponsored CPR class when she was forced to put it into practice.

While riding to her soccer game, Brooke and her mom, Marisa, came upon an accident on Highway 28 near Sand Harbor.

A van had gone down a 100-foot embankment, and the driver of the van had managed to walk to the roadway before collapsing.

“We saw these people standing over this woman alongside the road, and Brooke told me to pull over so we could help,” Marisa said. “She said she’d just had CPR training and maybe she could help.”

Marisa at first thought it was some hikers who had come up from the lake and one might have fainted from exhaustion.

“I didn’t even see a car,” Marisa said.

Brooke didn’t see the vehicle at first, but saw the woman fall.

“I thought she may have had a stroke,” Brooke said. “She didn’t have feeling in one of her arms, and that’s one of the symptoms I had learned at CPR.”

When the woman was questioned about what happened, she kept calling for her son.

“She was an Asian lady who obviously didn’t speak much English,” Marisa said. “We thought maybe her son was still in the car.”

Wanting too make sure, Brooke and another good Samaritan did something she hadn’t learned in the class.

“We climbed down to the car to make sure no one else was trapped inside,” Brooke said. “Luckily, we didn’t find anyone so we came back up and called the lady’s home on her cell.”

Marisa called and was able to get the cell number to the son of the injured woman.

“He called from San Jose and said he was on his way,” Marisa said.

Meanwhile, Brooke kept checking to see if the woman was breathing easily and, because it was cold, covered her up.

“That’s what we learned in class,” Brooke said.

North Lake Tahoe Fire Department Capt. Mike Schwartz, who lead the class, said he was proud of Brooke and her ability to take action.

“This class teaches more than CPR. It also teaches kids how to react in an emergency,” Schwartz said. “It’s neat to see how much kids really learn from this class.”

He said the classes also help the fire district do a little early recruiting.

“Certain kids have what it takes even early on to be in emergency service,” Schwartz said. “Obviously, Brooke is one of those kids who will be able to do whatever she wants. Hopefully, she’ll become a firefighter.”