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Two honored after saving sixth-grader’s life

LaBrae Middle School principal, nurse recognized

WARREN TOWNSHIP — Quick action and knowledge of cardiopulminary resuscitation by LaBrae school staff helped to save the life of a sixth-grade student who went into cardiac arrest at the school.

Warren Township fire Chief Randy Daniels at Monday’s LaBrae Board of Education meeting presented special recognition “You Are My Hero” awards to LaBrae school nurse Sharron Harper and LaBrae Middle School Principal Martin Kelly for their work in saving the student’s life during the first week of school.

Daniels said he received a call from the middle school at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 28, the second day of the school year, for a student having a serious medical emergency with a student in cardiac arrest.

“When I arrived I could see that this situation was very serious as CPR had to be started and an AED used to help the student, who was able to be saved and taken by ambulance for further care to the hospital. The student was later taken to Akron Children’s Hospital,” he said.

The student later received surgery and recovered and was able to return to school.

Harper said all staff has undergone CPR training and use of Automated External Defibrillator for emergency situations and saw a situation where the training was needed.

While Harper and Kelly are the two who were instrumental in the lifesaving efforts for the student, they said teachers Joseph Slifka and Cory Hinzman were both also involved in lifesaving efforts and notified them of the situation.

“It takes a village, and the entire village stepped up to help,” Harper said, noting everyone sees the importance of the CPR and other training.

“These are calls that we never want to have to come to, but because of their efforts before we arrived at the school they helped save the student’s life. They did what needed to be done, and the student had a very successful outcome and full recovery,” Daniels said.

Daniels also praised the school district’s policy on emergency situations like this, as a lockdown was held and all students and staff were in classrooms so emergency crews could get the student out of the building quickly through the hallway.

Superintendent Anthony Calderone praised the staff who helped in using hands-on CPR they had been trained to do while waiting for the paramedics to arrive to get the student to the hospital.

“A lot of staff take the lifesaving training and wonder if they will ever use it. They realize then when situations like this occur the training was necessary,” Calderone said.

He said the situation was “divine intervention” noting it happened at the school where people were there to help her and not when the student may have been by herself somewhere else.

Calderone said the student was a little nervous and concerned about coming back to school following the incident but was welcomed by her friends, classmates and staff.

“Our students welcomed her with open arms,” Calderone said.

Calderone said staff is AED trained due to a state mandate.

Board member Diane Duncan said the training the staff has taken to save lives is so very important.

“It was a very eye-opening experience that was handled very well with a good outcome. The student is safe and back at school,” said Russell Sewell, board president.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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