BRIDGETON, Mo. (KTVI) — Joan Cather, a longtime martial arts teacher, experienced a first on Sunday during a Fourth of July parade.

After noticing someone along the Bridgeton parade route needed medical attention, a fellow ATA Martial Arts instructor — an off-duty area police officer — stopped their float.

“The two of us ran to the gentleman,” Cather said. “When we got there, we know there was no pulse.”

Cather said they began performing CPR. “My instructor started doing compressions; I was checking for a pulse,” she said.

Cather said the CPR worked. The man was breathing again as first responders arrived.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “It still feels very surreal, like, ‘Wow, that really just happened on our parade route.”

A few minutes later, Cather and the assistant instructor stopped their float again, this time to help a person who appeared to be overheated.

“To help somebody on the side that we didn’t know? It didn’t matter,” she said. “Because that’s what good people do. When you’re a good person, I believe that you reach out and you take care of people.”

As for the parade, Cather’s students and junior instructors took home a first-place trophy for the performance category, but she said the trophy was the icing on the cake for a day she’ll never forget.

“We saved somebody’s life,” she said.

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

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