LIVERMORE — There was no time to think Thursday. Quick actions and prior training kicked in when a kindergarten student choked during lunch at Spruce Mountain Primary School.

Educational technicians Monique Cunningham and Diana Pomerleau, both of Jay, were on lunch duty.

“Everyone had sat down,” Cunningham said. “A little boy came up to us with his hands around his neck and a red face. He couldn’t talk. I rapped him on the back but nothing came out. Diana gave him the Heimlich. Then it came out.”

“It’s all kind of a blur,” Pomerleau said. “I think it came out with one try.” 

Her next thought was to get him to the nurse to make sure he was OK.

Cunningham said the boy tried to eat a diced pear that he hadn’t chewed.

She said she received training from the company she worked for previously.

Pomerleau said she attended a renewal CPR and first aid training given by the Regional School Unit 73 nurses last winter at the middle school.

An email sent Thursday afternoon read, “Successful First Aid and CPR training and awareness pays off!!! Monique Cunningham and Diana Pomerleau of the Spruce Mountain Primary School are our “Heroes of the Day” and should be congratulated for performing a successful Heimlich maneuver on one of our kindergarten students. Critical thinking in a stressful situation saved the day and our student! Thank you! Nursing Staff.”

Principal Kevin Harrington said via email, “This is a proud staff moment.”

“They’ve gotten a lot of responses. They rock,” school librarian Cheryl Mills said Friday afternoon.

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Spruce Mountain Primary School educational technicians Diana Pomerleau, left, and Monique Cunningham are being called heroes for helping a kindergarten student who was choking during lunch Thursday. (Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser)


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