April 29, 2015 Edition

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Portia Fire Chief Greg Duckworth gets a hug and a thank you card from Eli Haynes, a student at the Lawrence County Cooperative School in Portia, on Friday.
Submitted Photo

Portia fire chief
helps save child's life

Good timing and good training came together on Thursday, when Portia Fire Chief Greg Duckworth was able to help a young boy who was choking at the Lawrence County Cooperative School in Portia.

Duckworth also serves as a member of the LCCS board, which was meeting at the school on Thursday morning. The board usually meets on Tuesdays, but the meeting day had been changed to Thursday to accommodate some of the members.

Duckworth was in the meeting when the emergency occurred. Young Eli Haynes, a student at the school, was choking on a piece of candy. With the help of two teachers, Duckworth was able to dislodge the candy.

"It just worked out that I was there," said Duckworth. "I did what I could."

Every two years, Duckworth and other fire department personnel take a refresher course on CPR that includes training for choking victims. He and other Portia firemen had just taken a CPR refresher course on Tuesday night of last week.

Duckworth said he had done CPR a few times but usually with assistance from an ambulance crew.

The school invited Duckworth to revisit Eli at the school on Friday, the day after the incident, and the two exchanged hugs. Eli gave Duckworth a card that stated, "Thank you! Mr. Nice Guy," and Duckworth presented him with a fireman's hat and a toy fire truck, similar to one used by Portia firemen.

"I am glad that Greg was there to help the child," said Lisa Williams, executive director of the Cooperative School. "My staff and I are CPR certified, but he is more qualified than any of us..."

"I am very proud and grateful for the team effort that was displayed that day in save Eli. A person would have had to be there in the moment to know how emotional it was, but yet we're all so thankful for the outcome," she added.

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