When a Catholic Central High School student had a seizure in the middle of class and another had one during prom, three well-trained, heroic students stepped up to provide care and assist the students while waiting for emergency responders.

According to Jennifer Robson, Administrative Assistant to the Principal at the high school in Burlington, neither student had a history of seizures.

Seniors Kelly Pum, Nick Delimat and Cate Debell were present during those emergencies and responded quickly, calmly and with poise to stabilize the students, Robson said.

“They provided the kind of care we speak of in our school mission, serving others as an expression of our faith and commitment to excellence. They ensured no further injury would occur and spoke with kind, encouraging voices, bringing a sense of calm.”

Pum and Delimat are basic emergency medical technicians and Debell is a certified nursing assistant and lifeguard.

Delimat opted to take the EMT class through Gateway Technical College, Racine, to help him get into medical school. Medical school admission requires many community service hours, as well as working in healthcare facilities before acceptance.

“Becoming an EMT allows me to help my community and get volunteer hours recorded for medical school,” Delimat said. “The first instance was at our prom at the Abbey in Fontana. I was walking around when all the lights went on. I quickly realized that there was a group of students and faculty members surrounding a student. I went over to see the student laying on the floor shaking violently. Me and the other EMT in my class, Kelly Pum, used what we were taught in class to keep the student from hitting their head and helped to keep the student as calm as possible.”

The second incident occurred during class. A teacher came in and asked Delimat to come out of the room, explaining that there was a medical situation occurring in an upstairs classroom.

“As I walked into the room, I saw a teacher and Cate Debell holding the student upright. We quickly moved a pad underneath the student to make him as comfortable as possible and allow his medical situation to pass,” Delimat said. “The Burlington rescue squad arrived shortly after.”

Delimat was admittedly a bit nervous when he assisted with the student suffering a seizure during prom.

“I had just passed my Wisconsin EMT test four days prior. Thankfully, in the first instance, Kelly and I worked well together, and bounced ideas off each other to figure out the correct way to manage the patient,” he said. “The second instance wasn’t as bad because of the experience I had at prom the Friday prior.”

For Pum, who earned her Basic-EMT certification from Allied Medical in Minnesota, the opportunity to utilize her skills so quickly after certification was a bit frightening, but the training immediately came to mind.

“It was almost muscle memory,” Pum said. “I was frightened but working with Nick helped calm my nerves.”

Pum said she decided to become an EMT because both of her brothers are EMTs, and she realized it was a great opportunity to help the community while gaining medical experience and making a difference in the lives of others.

“I took the class through a department in Minnesota,” she said. “After school, I plan to attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities to study genetics.”

Getting training in emergency medicine is important for anyone, Pum said.

“I would highly recommend it,” she said. “No matter the extra workload, being able to experience helping someone is worth it. These instances have affected my faith by enhancing my thankfulness for my health.”

Debell completed her certified nursing assistant training at Gateway Technical College and lifeguarding certification through Ellis and Associates. She chose to become a CNA in her sophomore year, as she was interested in a career in the medical field.

“I believed being a CNA would help me determine if I would be a good fit,” she said.

Debell wasn’t on the scene at the school’s prom but was there when the second student had a seizure at school a week later.

“I knew I had to jump in since everyone seemed very startled,” she said. “I wasn’t scared, but I’ve been told that I am a calm person when it comes to these things.”

Debell, who plans to attend Hope College in Michigan for nursing, encourages others to get some sort of emergency training.

“It is very important to try (to) get some kind of experience in emergency situations since you never know when they may occur or who they will occur to,” Debell said.

Delimat agreed, saying he would advise anyone to take some form of emergency training since they won’t know when there will be a medical emergency for a stranger or family member.

“By taking emergency training, you may be able to save a life,” Delimat said.

Delimat currently volunteers for the Rochester Volunteer Fire Company and plans to attend St. Norbert College, De Pere, to study biochemistry followed by medical school. He plans to become an emergency medicine physician.

Robson said that Delimat, Pum and Debell answered the call to exemplify heroic faith, serve as bold Catholics and make a difference in the community.

“These are attributes that Catholic Central nurtures in our students every day, with the hope that when opportunity calls, our students respond heroically and boldly to make a difference in people’s lives and their unique circumstances,” she said. “They will be remembered for boldly, heroically, calmly and quietly making a difference, the Catholic Central Difference.”

Cate Debell

Nicholas Delimat

Kelly Pum