Thirty-plus 7th graders at simultaneously pounded on dummies like their lives depended on it.
"Are you alright? Can you hear me?" they said in unison.
They had listened carefully to their teacher's instructions and this was the time to try CPR.
They pulled themselves up on their knees, elbows straight and administered 30 compressions. Then two breaths. Then 30 more compressions. No one watching would guess these students had never done this before.
The multi-purpose room buzzed with the sound of lives being saved.
"Yay, he's alive," one student said.
All day Monday, 7th graders at Pleasanton Middle School learned CPR as part of an Alameda County program called CPR 7, which aims to teach every 7th grader in the county how to do CPR.
So far, 10,069 students out of 14,600 have learned. There are 400 7th graders at Pleasanton Middle School and all day long they cycled in and out of this class, leaving with their own CPR kit tucked under their arms.
Monday night, they planned to show their families what they learned. They get to keep an instructional DVD, plus their little plastic mannequin, which looked more like a heavy-headed alien than a person.
Students learned how to tip the head back and listen for breathing. They learned how to pinch the nose. They learned how to pump the chest hard but not too hard. And they learned how to breathe for their victim.
Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty watched the students and then gave them a pep talk afterward. One of them, he said, might save someone from a heart attack someday.
"You get to be the hero of your family," he said.
This is the program's first year, said Jamie Hintzke, community relations coordinator for the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency. Hintzke is also a Pleasanton Unified School District trustee and project leader for CPR 7.
She said 7th graders throughout 36 schools countywide have learned CPR this year, and this is just the beginning, she said. Counties throughout the state are watching to see how this program does and she predicts many will start their own.
Money for the program comes from speeding ticket proceeds, she said.
"The idea is to pay it forward," she said, noting that one 7th grader in Union City has taught 96 people how to do CPR. She said this student's father had a heart attack and he said he never wanted to be in a position where he couldn't help.
"For some students, this is the first time they're going home from school and sharing with their families what they learned," Hintzke said.