AUBURN — Caden Begos worked on resuscitating Rebecca Daigneault’s “baby” in an Edward Little High School classroom Tuesday.

Students played roles as if they were in a real emergency situation.

“My baby’s going to die!” Daigneault said frantically. “Is my kid going to be OK?” 

“I don’t know, ma’am,” Begos replied. “I need to put this on his chest. Keep doing CPR: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 … clear!”

Begos used an automatic external defibrillator to get the “baby” breathing regularly again.

The “baby” was a doll. Like other students in the class of 15, Daigneault and Begos were role-playing, learning how to save a choking child.

Emergency medical technician training is a new class at Edward Little High School. It’s taught by Kennebec Valley Community College instructor Kerry Pomelow, a paramedic.

The yearlong class is one of more than a dozen college classes students can take and get credit for both high school and college, said ELHS aspirations specialist Jim Horn.

About 80 juniors and seniors are getting dual credit for these classes, which include English, art, introduction to education (teaching), public speaking, college chemistry and lab, history I and II, algebra, college literature and writing.

The college classes are offered through Central Maine Community College, Eastern Maine Community College, the University of Maine at Augusta and Kennebec Valley Community College.

“Every year, we’re adding more,” Horn said. “Our intent is to continue to add more next year.”

The classes expose students to college and allow students to earn college credit, which saves them money and time in college, Horn said. And some classes even expose students to careers.

Another new class this year is teaching students how to become teachers. They’re learning in part by teaching elementary students under supervision at Sherwood Heights Elementary School.

In the EMT class, students are learning to provide enough life support to transport patients to hospitals, Pomelow said.

“They’ll learn everything included in a CPR class,” Pomelow said. Even if they never work in the medical field, these are great life skills, she said. 

The class is difficult and comes with a heavy textbook, requiring lots of reading, Horn said. After successfully completing the yearlong class, students will take national certification tests to become EMTs. Those who are 18 will be able to work as EMTs, Pomelow said.

Allison Mackenzie and Keegan Moreau, both 17-year-old seniors, said they enrolled in the class because they plan to work in the medical field, one as an occupational therapist and the other as a nurse.

“I thought having the background would be helpful to start, and I thought it would be a cool opportunity to learn,” Mackenzie said.

Malvika Gelder, 16, said she’s intrigued by human biology.

“I have friends who are EMTs,” she said. “I decided, ‘Hey, that’s for me.’”

“This is one of the classes I’ve learned the most from, skills you know you’re going to be able to use,” Moreau said. “If someone drops down in front of me, you’d be able to save a life.”


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