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NRWMS Comes Together to Save One of Their Own

NRWMS Comes Together to Save One of Their Own

March 28 started as a somewhat typical day at North Rose-Wolcott Middle School. Seventh- and eighth-grade students were headed to the auditorium for an assembly, so when Spanish teacher Crystie Weigand heard a commotion in the stairwell just outside her third-floor classroom, she figured it was just normal foot traffic.

As Weigand began to head downstairs herself, a student asked her for a marker. She went back to her room to grab it, then noticed a traffic jam forming at the top of the stairs. She heard the words, “Somebody needs you.”

Weigand pushed through the crowd and saw her longtime colleague and friend, eighth-grade science teacher Peter Treasure, unresponsive in the landing.

Crystie Weigand and Pete Treasure in 2016

Crystie Weigand and Pete Treasure in 2016

Many others may have panicked in that moment, but Weigand, who has served as an emergency medical technician for over 26 years, knew exactly what to do. She began her assessment and noticed Treasure was turning purple, didn’t have a pulse, and was having agonal respirations - a reflexive gasp for air that indicated he wasn’t receiving enough oxygen.

Weigand yelled for one person to grab an AED, which was located on a nearby wall, and for another person to find school nurse Colleen Barron. She started CPR while waiting for Barron to arrive.

“It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” Weigand said. “I’ve known Pete for 23 years, and it was like, OK, I’m about to do CPR on one of my close friends. I had to put it off to the side and do what I was trained to do.”

On the first floor, principal Crystal Rupp ran into Barron’s office, where she was on the phone with a parent, and told her she was needed right away. Once upstairs, Barron shocked Treasure twice with the AED and gave him rescue breaths as Weigand continued CPR. “I was working with her to find pulses,” Barron said. “We were walking each other through the steps.” 

Barron used her radio to ask the school resource officer to call 911, unaware that eighth-grade student Devon Britton had already called. Because of Britton’s actions, emergency services were already on the way.

To everyone’s surprise, Treasure started to come back around quickly. He was aware and able to answer basic questions. From there, Lakeshore Ambulance arrived and took over his care.

“I am so proud of the way our team handled this situation, and even more proud of the quick response and bravery of Colleen Barron and Crystie Weigand,” Rupp said.  

As safety is one of the district’s top priorities, staff are regularly trained in emergency preparedness topics. “We feel equipped and ready to handle any emergency situation that comes our way,” Rupp said.  

On a day without an assembly, that hallway would have been empty during Treasure’s regularly scheduled hall duty. The assembly “put so many people there to help him get the help he needed so quickly. He was in the stairwell where the AED was located,” Barron said. 

Colleen Barron

Barron also praised Britton for calling 911 right away, office staff and administrators for helping to coordinate in a chaotic time, the other staff members who focused on directing students to where they needed to go, the custodial staff, and the counseling staff who touched base with every student and staff member who needed to talk.

“All of that really made such a difference,” Barron said. “It was the best possible outcome.”

“It’s odd that something like that happens to you at work, but in hindsight, that was the best spot that it could have happened,” Treasure said. “To have people there like Crystie, who’s an EMT, and the nurse is just incredible, incredible luck.”

Treasure says he’s feeling good and taking it easy as he continues to recover. He plans to return to work at the start of the next school year. 

“I’m improving a lot. My function in my heart is coming back. I’m not 100 percent yet but with the pacemaker that I have in there now, it’s doing what my heart wasn’t doing before the accident,” he said. “My doctors are pretty confident that I’ll get back to 100 percent.”

“We are all so happy that Pete is on the mend,” Rupp said. “He is a valued member of our school family and we are so grateful to have such a positive outcome.”

Treasure says he and his family are thankful for everyone’s help and support. “I’m very grateful for everybody at NRW. Top down, everybody played a role in that and I’m very thankful for them,” he said. “My family is very thankful. My kids still have their dad, and my wife still has her husband, and my brothers and sisters still have their brother, and my students still have their teacher.”