All in a day’s work. Teacher Cassandra Byrd- Scolaro revived a drug overdose victim on her lunch break.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012, 1:28 PM
Brooklyn teacher Cassandra Byrd-Scolaro can offer help in reading, writing — and resuscitation.
The heroic Public School 17 instructor used her Wednesday lunch break to revive a suspected overdose victim after finding the lifeless woman inside a restaurant bathroom.
“She looked dead,” said Byrd-Scolaro, 34, who flew into action before emergency medical workers arrived. “She had no pulse. I immediately began giving her compressions.”
Three minutes later, with EMS workers on the scene, the unidentified woman was breathing and her heart was once again beating.
“We heard a gurgling,” the teacher recounted. “She was coming back.”
But the drug-addled victim didn’t use her second chance to say thank you: She instead flipped the bird at Byrd-Scolaro and the medical workers.
Most others gave the 10-year teaching veteran an A-plus for her life-saving effort inside the S&B Restaurant at 194 Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott called Byrd-Scolaro to compliment her quickness under pressure and her ability to administer CPR.
And her principal, Dr. Robert Marchi, said he was hardly surprised to learn there was a hero on his staff.
“To me, she represents the very best in what a teacher ought to be,” Marchi said of Byrd-Scolaro. “I can’t think of another person you’d rather have at your side in distress than this lady.”
The fourth-grade teacher, one of 11 PS 17 staffers to volunteer for CPR training, proved that she was an attentive student during her first opportunity to use those skills.
“It was a great feeling,” she said before heading back to afternoon classes.
Byrd-Scolaro had just ordered a chicken Caesar wrap to go and was heading to use the bathroom when she noticed a commotion.
A waitress broke into the bathroom, where she and the teacher saw the unconscious woman lying on the floor.
“We pulled her out of the bathroom,” Byrd-Scolaro recounted. “She wasn’t breathing.”
The teaching veteran, after the dramatic rescue, took her wrap and headed back to school — but not before the restaurant owner picked up her lunch tab.