Tenn. Teacher Recognized with Lifesaving Award for Saving Choking Student
Earlier this month, Eaton Elementary first grade teacher Melinda Moroz saved the life of her student, Colby Arwood when he choked on a piece of candy during a math test. Immediately, she remembered medical training provided by Priority Ambulance that allowed her to perform the Heimlich maneuver four times before successfully dislodging the candy.
Because of these efforts, Moroz was honored with a Lifesaving Award at a ceremony at Eaton Elementary School on November 1. The award was presented by Loudon County Mayor Buddy Bradshaw, Loudon County Board of Education Director Jason Vance, Eaton Elementary School Principal Ashley Talley and Priority Ambulance Loudon County EMS Director Travis Estes and Supervisor Tony Lowery.
“I am very humbled, and I did what anyone else in this building would’ve done,” Moroz said. “At Loudon County Schools, we are here for the whole child. Academics are important, but our top priority is to keep our babies safe.”
Priority Ambulance provides annual training sessions on first aid, CPR, the Heimlich maneuver, bleeding control and other necessary medical skills to every school in the Loudon County and Lenoir City school system. Priority Ambulance has provided this training since becoming the emergency 9-1-1 ambulance service provider in 2015. Moroz credits this training for her actions to save Colby.
“We receive a lot of training to act quickly in emergencies,” said Moroz. “Tony Lowery of Priority Ambulance does a fantastic job of keeping us current with lifesaving skills so that my response to Colby’s situation was second nature.”
“Our kids go to these schools, so we want to make sure that when they go to school, they are safe,” said Priority Ambulance Supervisor Tony Lowery. “This training is so important, and we don’t always get to directly see the positive impact of our efforts. Through quick action and bravery, Melinda was able to save a life, and we are incredibly proud to present her with this award.”
Moroz has been teaching for 26 years, and she has spent 12 of those years at Eaton Elementary School. The Eaton Elementary School motto teaches student to be “Respectful. Responsible and Safe,” and Moroz said the partnership with Priority Ambulance for safety training is one way the school is able to live up to that motto.
Priority Ambulance hosts first aid training sessions for organizations and groups within the community. If you are interested in scheduling a class in your area, visit www.priorityambulancetn.com/contact-us.