Two North Bay teachers hailed for life-saving heroics

"They are seriously heroes in our eyes," said Jamie Lynn Schenone, the aunt of the boy who was saved.

Nine-year-old Vinnie Schenone was just finishing recess Monday morning when he collapsed.

"He was face down. Very limp. I checked for a pulse. There was none," said teacher Joaquin Benar.

Vinnie's fourth grade teacher Erin Scull also ran to him.

"I saw his eyes rolling in the back of his head. And we knew it was life and death at that time," said Scull.

The teachers knew they had to perform CPR. Bernal pressed on the boy's chest while Scull kept careful count of those chest compressions.

"I thought we were going to lose him and he would pass away. It was terrifying," said Scull.

Vinnie hung on. Minutes later, paramedics took over and airlifted him to Lucille Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. While the boy is still in intensive care, he is no longer critical.

His family says he is awake and alert, thanks to the two teachers

"If it wasn't for them knowing CPR, Vinnie wouldn't be here today. He's our world. He's our everything," said Schenone.

Under state law, public school teachers are required to be CPR certified as a condition of getting a teaching credential. But there is no requirement for them to maintain their CPR certificate.

The two teachers who helped saved Vinnie have kept up-to-date.

"When you get CPR certified, you have that thought, Can I do it. Will I be able to do it?" said Bernal.

Vinnie's family said the boy has a heart condition and that may have caused what happened Monday. The family said they don't have the words to express how grateful they are.

"My sister was trying to write them a letter yesterday and couldn't keep the tears from flowing," said Schenone.

"It's just the best feeling in the world knowing that he is ok," said Scull.

A good teacher can shape children's lives. Some can even save them.