Even though Hayes is an experienced nurse, the Salem mother of three said not even she has nerves of steel.
“You’re always worried you might panic,” she said.
That certainly didn’t happen.
She said most of the school staff has received the optional defibrillator training. The defibrillators were donated to the school district six years ago, but they were never needed until now.
The defibrillators are easy to use, Hayes said. If there isn’t one available, just doing CPR can make a big difference, she said.
“You are better off doing something than nothing,” she said.
School, police and fire officials lauded Hayes.
“She did an outstanding job,” Deputy police Chief Shawn Patten said. “I give her all the credit.”
Hayes said she’s received so much praise from her colleagues, it’s been a little overwhelming.
“The whole thing is surreal,” she said. “I don’t like all this attention.”
Staff writer Alex Lippa contributed to this report.