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Being prepared to be heroes

You never know when the unexpected might happen.

Will you be ready?

Last week, a pair of local educators experienced an unexpected — and frightening — situation.

A Bridgeport fourth-grader choked on a cough drop in class on Tuesday. His teacher wasn’t expecting that, but she was prepared for it. So was her colleague who shares her classroom. Together, they managed to save the boy’s life.

Kylie Taylor, a fourth grade teacher, and third grade teacher Donnie Cash, were watching over their respective classes when the unthinkable happened. Taylor noticed a student choking and turning red and sprang into action. When her efforts were unsuccessful, she called for help.

“I had tried the Heimlich maneuver about four or five times and it didn’t work. It was at that point I screamed for Mr. Cash,” Taylor said.

Cash tried the Heimlich maneuver several times.

“He wasn’t coughing to start, so I gave him one more big thrust and the cough drop came out,” Cash said.

Because these teachers knew what to do, the child is safe and has returned to class. And, Taylor and Cash are being hailed as the heroes that they are.

If something similar happened in your presence, would you know what to do? What if you encountered someone who was in cardiac arrest — would you be able to help them?

If you answer to any of those questions is “no,” consider how you can change that.

The world can be a dangerous and unpredictable place, but there are steps we can take to be prepared for the worst. Learning how to intervene in an emergency situation is an easy thing to do. Local hospitals and other agencies offer classes in CPR and first aid periodically, and there are plenty of resources available online and at your local library to help you learn these important skills.

We commend Taylor and Cash for knowing what to do and having the presence of mind to do it. We also urge all of our readers to ensure you are ready to become a hero if the need arises.

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