by Ray Pauley
Public Information Officer
Grand Island Fire Co.
Veronica Conner Middle School Assistant Principal Eleanor Payne stepped in Monday, Sept. 9, to do CPR on a 10-year-old student who had collapsed in the school hallway.
Shortly before 4 p.m., the Grand Island Fire Co. responded to a report of a "student down" at the Ransom Road school.
According to the GIFC report, the student had left the school earlier in the day with an unspecified illness, but had returned with her mother to pick up some items when she collapsed near her locker. Payne, who was still in the main office, rushed to the scene, found that the student did not have a pulse, and started CPR, which restored breathing. GIFC medics arrived and continued treatment. The student was transported to Women and Children's Hospital.
Fire Chief Kevin Koch agreed with GIFC medics that critical lifesaving intervention by Payne was undoubtedly instrumental in assuring a positive outcome for the student.
Payne said she has had CPR training for more than 20 years and had just renewed her certification on Aug. 30. She said she was thankful to still be in the building when the life-threatening incident occurred and she rendered assistance.
A statement issued by Dr. Teresa Lawrence, superintendent of schools, on behalf of the family, said, "We want to thank everyone and we are extremely appreciative of all the help and support. We are especially grateful for the quick response of Assistant Principal Eleanor Payne and the emergency responders. Our child is doing well and will be returning to school soon.
"Thank you for your continued prayers."
Lawrence and Tak Nobumoto, school board president, issued a joint statement, saying: "On behalf of the Grand Island School District, we wish to extend our ongoing support to the family. We are grateful for the skill, quick reaction and selflessness of our staff, especially Eleanor Payne, and the community's first responders.
"Our school community is prepared and looking forward to the student's return."
This life-saving scenario proves how extremely valuable CPR training can be, since you never know when it will be needed, Koch stressed.