How This Dual Credit Student Stayed Calm During an On-Campus Emergency

Dainelis Castro, who plans to enroll in CNM’s Fire Science program, helped a fellow student suffering from a seizure
October 21, 2020

Dainelis Castro, 17, says she’s always been calm under pressure. That was absolutely true earlier this term when she helped during an on-campus emergency.

Dainelis, a senior at Health Leadership High School, was in her dual credit Health 1003 class when one of her fellow students had a seizure. The class instructor, Vernon Honeyfield, was a paramedic and knew what to do, but he also needed help. That’s when Dainelis stepped in. She calmly helped Vernon with the situation by doing everything from contacting the student’s supervisor to comforting her once she recovered. Vernon says he was amazed by Dainelis’ composure.

“She was absolutely professional,” Vernon says. “She stayed calm and really handled the situation even though she had little or no experience.”

Dainelis says she doesn’t have a lot of experience, but plans to get plenty sometime soon. After she graduates from the Health Leadership High School in 2021, she wants to enroll in CNM’s Fire Science program in the 2021 Fall Term.

She’s always wanted to be an EMT and firefighter because she grew up around her uncle who’s a firefighter with Albuquerque Fire Rescue. That and she wants to put her knack for staying calm in stressful situations to good use.

“My mentality has always been that if I freak out in a stressful situation, that doesn’t help anyone,” she says. “So instead, I’ve always known that I can be most helpful if I’m calm and collected.”

When her fellow student suffered the seizure, Dainelis said she didn’t even think. She just reacted.

“It was all so quick and I just acted by instinct,” she says. “I just knew that someone needed my help.”

Luckily the outcome was good. EMTs responded and evaluated the student. They determined she was okay, and her family came and took her home. 

To summarize how he felt about Dainelis’ reaction, Vernon put it well.

“She’s the kind of person I want with me on my ambulance calls,” he says. “She’s going to have a great career.”