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BRIDGETON, Mo. – Joan Cather has been instructing martial arts students for years. She experienced a first on Sunday when her ATA Martial Arts crew was part of the Bridgeton Fourth of July parade. A fellow instructor, an off-duty area police officer, stopped their float after noticing someone along the parade route in need of medical attention.

“The two of us ran to the gentleman,” Cather said. “My instructor started doing compressions; I was checking for a pulse.”

Cather said they began performing CPR. She said, “When we got there, we know there was no pulse.”

Cather said the CPR worked. The man was breathing again as first responders arrived. A few minutes later, Cather and her fellow instructor stopped their float again. This time they stopped to help a visitor who appeared to be overheated.

Separate from performing CPR, Cather’s students and junior instructors took home a 1st place trophy for the performance category of the parade. Cather said the trophy was the icing on the cake for a day she’ll never forget.

“It still feels very surreal,” she said.

CPR training is a requirement for all instructors at Cather’s studio in St. Ann.

“You just never know when you will need it,” she said.