Paramedics say it was five to eight minutes of good CPR by teachers that helped save a 12-year-old student’s life, this morning.

"We had one person call 911. Another teacher started CPR within a minute," says school principal Paul McGuire.

The call came just after 9 a.m. when a student collapsed in the hallway of St. Gregory School at 148 Meadowlands Drive West.

"I saw the paramedics pull in. And I saw the principal right there waving them down," says parent Erin Bruce who was dropping off her daughter when it happened.

Teachers quickly began performing CPR on the child until paramedics arrived.

Paramedics then used a defibrillator to shock the girl who regained a pulse as a result. A breathing tube was inserted and the patient was then taken to hospital.

"The CPR keeps the blood flowing and redistributes oxygen to the vital organs like the brain. So the first few minutes, until paramedics arrive, that is absolutely crucial," says J.P. Trottier of the Ottawa Paramedic Service.

Upon arrival to hospital, the girl was struggling to breathe on her own. She remains in critical condition.

The 12-year-old girl does suffer from Asthma. The cause of the cardiac arrest is still undetermined.