Tustin school staff, police officer recognized for saving boy who collapsed at school

A school nurse, an assistant principal and a Tustin Police Department motor officer are being credited with saving the life of a 13-year-old boy who went into full cardiac arrest at school.

Tustin Police Officer Ralph Casiello and school nurse Pam Atkins greet Siva Pelluru.
Tustin Police Officer Ralph Casiello and school nurse Pam Atkins check in with Siva Pelluru, who collapsed days earlier on the campus of Pioneer Middle School. (Photo courtesy of Steven Georges / Behind the Badge OC)

The frightening incident, reported here on the Behind the Badge TPD site, occurred on June 7, when Siva Pelluru collapsed outside the administrative office of Tustin’s Pioneer Middle School.

After another student reported the fall, Pamela Atkins, a nurse with the Tustin Unified School District, raced out to Siva and began compressions. Assistant Principal Troy Fresch arrived shortly thereafter and used the school’s automated external defibrillator (AED) until Officer Ralph Casiello took over with CPR. Moments later, the boy gasped and coughed.

“If they showed up even a few minutes later, this would have been a different situation,” Siva’s father, Prabha Pelluru, told Behind the Badge. “They did a great job.”

Ten days later, on June 17, the Pelluru family paid a visit to Pioneer to commend Atkins, Fresch and Casiello for their collective response. Siva was there too. He was presented with a yearbook and a stack of get-well cards from his classmates.

You can read the full story, happy ending and all, here.