CFISD staff member honored for service under extreme circumstances
By CFISD Communications
Aug. 11, 2022—Kris Jones, CFISD assistant director of aquatics and Houston Police Officer Hannah Shaffer were recently recognized for their decisive actions and American Red Cross training in helping preserve the life of a student-athlete during a water polo match in April. They were honored on July 21 during a ceremony at the American Red Cross Gulf Coast Region’s Greater Houston location.
The two were recognized for their actions in helping save the life of a student-athlete on April 2 at the CFISD Natatorium. Jones was presented with an American Red Cross Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Achievement. Shaffer was presented with the Lifesaving Award for Professional Responders.
The Lifesaving Awards are the highest given by the American Red Cross to individuals or group of individuals who save or sustain a life using skills learned in a Red Cross training service course.
“I am truly humbled and honored to be recognized for the American Red Cross National Lifesaving Award,” Jones said. “I am also blessed to have been able to respond during this emergency event with the knowledge and skills necessary to save a student-athlete’s life. From the time of my first American Red Cross training classes as a lifeguard, swim instructor and safety trainer and forward to many years of continuous preparation and repetition of skills learned, the courses gave me the ability to provide the necessary action and care in a time of need.”
Added Charles K. Blake, Jr., regional chief executive officer for the American Red Cross Gulf Coast Region: “Hannah and Kristofer’s fast thinking and actions exemplify our mission to help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies,”
On April 2, a student-athlete started having a seizure and began convulsing in the east pool during a water polo match. She was assisted to the side by other student-athletes and removed from the pool onto the pool deck. Jones, Shaffer and Jonathan Mayer, CFISD director of aquatics, checked her vital signs. The student-athlete expelled excess water from her system, while Jones and Shaffer both continued to monitor her vital signs until she was coherent.
The student-athlete was then taken to the conference room. Within 13 minutes, a Harris County Emergency Services District 11 ambulance arrived on scene and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel continued care.
“We certainly are proud of CFISD Assistant Aquatics Director Kris Jones and Houston Police Officer Hannah Shaffer. Their coordinated emergency lifesaving actions prevented a catastrophic accident from occurring,” said Ray Zepeda, CFISD director of athletics. “The coaches and others associated with the CFISD athletics department train in order to respond appropriately when lifesaving measures are needed. Kris and Officer Shaffer were able to access their training to potentially save a life. We are so thankful for their dedicated approach to training and their willingness to respond when called upon. They are truly heroes.”
All CFISD school nurses, clinic assistants, coaches, athletic trainers, sponsors, band directors, drill team directors and LIFE Skills teachers are required to obtain CPR certification. All CFISD students must also have CPR instruction once beginning in seventh grade.
“While I hope the incident that gave rise to this award is never repeated, it is a reinforcement of the importance and necessity of safety protocols and practice in aquatic sports as well as in every sport in which our student-athletes engage,” Jones said. “I am proud to be a role model and example of the results of safety awareness and preparedness lessons. Being in the right place at the right time in an emergency situation is only part of the answer; knowing what to do and how to do it is also vital to a successful response.”
Red Cross Award 1: CFISD Assistant Director of Aquatics Kris Jones, left, and Houston Police Officer Hannah Shaffer were recognized for quick and decisive actions in helping preserve the life of a student-athlete in April. They were honored on July 21 during a ceremony at the American Red Cross Gulf Coast Region’s Greater Houston location. Jones was presented with an American Red Cross Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Achievement.
Red Cross Award 2: CFISD Assistant Director of Aquatics Kris Jones, right, poses with Jonathan Mayer, CFISD director of aquatics, after being honored by the American Red Cross. Jones was presented with an American Red Cross Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Achievement, which is among the highest given by the American Red Cross to individuals or group of individuals who save or sustain a life using skills learned in a Red Cross training service course.