FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 10, 2022
Omaha Fire To Recognize Three Westside Staff Members Who Saved Choking Student
The Omaha Fire Department will recognize three Westside Community Schools employees who saved a child’s life at school. Kim Briggs, Kim Reagan and Erin Hamilton, all staff members at Oakdale Elementary, will be honored with Life Saver Awards for their quick response and action to revive a child who was choking.
On February 17, a special needs student began choking at lunch and turned blue. Special Education Teacher Kim Briggs performed the Heimlich Maneuver, pounding the child’s back and performing abdominal thrusts to dislodge the food. The student recovered within a few minutes, and after consultation with her parents and staff, remained in school. Later that day, the same student choked again on an after school snack; Health Assistant Kim Reagan performed the Heimlich to dislodge the food and the child began breathing on her own. In both incidents, Special Education Teacher Erin Hamilton provided invaluable support to other students allowing her colleagues to focus on the student involved.
“These three staff members are true heroes,” said Dr. Andrea Haynes, Westside Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and District Operations. “They not only responded quickly and calmly to save a student’s life, they then stayed strong emotionally for their other students and colleagues. We are very proud of them and grateful they are part of our team.”
Omaha Fire Battalion Chief Scott Fitzpatrick and other OFD representatives will present Life Saver Awards to these three employees at Oakdale Elementary, 98th & West Center Road, on Wednesday, May 11 at 9:30am. Media members are welcome to attend; interviews and video opportunities will be available. These educators were also honored by the Westside Board of Education on March 21.