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Teacher’s quick action saves life

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Art: Noblesville West Middle School teacher Francis Ramirez is joined by sixth-grade students Blaine Inman, left, and Harrison Christman. The three were recognized by the Noblesville School Board on Aug. 20 for their actions when Inman started choking on a pen cap in the middle of class. (Photo by Robert Herrington)

Art: Noblesville West Middle School teacher Francis Ramirez is joined by sixth-grade students Blaine Inman, left, and Harrison Christman. The three were recognized by the Noblesville School Board on Aug. 20 for their actions when Inman started choking on a pen cap in the middle of class. (Photo by Robert Herrington)

Noblesville West Middle School student Blaine Inman calls his math teacher a hero after Francis Ramirez saved his life on the fifth day of school.

“Teachers impact kids lives every day, mine just happened to be a little more hands on,” Ramirez said.

On Aug. 8, Ramirez was working out a math equation on the white board when student Harrison Christman got his attention after noticing his classmate was turning red.

“I yelled for Mr. Ramirez,” Harrison said. “It was really scary. If I hadn’t noticed it, I don’t know what else could have happened.”

When Ramirez saw Inman, he noticed that the sixth-grader was choking and needed attention immediately.

“I saw he was struggling. I went into autopilot,” Ramirez said. “I ran over to his desk, came up behind him and gave him the Heimlich (maneuver).”

Inman had his mechanical pencil in his mouth while he was thinking about the problem he was trying to solve and the clip became logged in this throat. Since the incident, Inman said he is OK and now takes the clips of his pencils.

“I think he was more embarrassed by the situation. Thank God it turned out the way it did,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez is CPR certified through his role as a coach. He recently had a refresher course in June when he earned his teaching license.

“It turned out to be a blessing,” he said. “It’s one of those things I will never forget and hope I never have to do again.”

At the Aug. 20 Noblesville School Board meeting, Ramirez was recognized with a Heroic Measures award. NWMS Principal Stacey Swan said Inman’s parents, BJ and Mindy Scott, wrote her a letter about how Ramirez talked with them later that evening to see how their son was doing and to let them know about the incident.

“Without Mr. Ramirez’s quick thinking and actions, who knows where Blaine would be today,” Mindy said. “It’s always good to know your kids are being paid attention to in class.”

Ramirez, a first-year teacher, is one of 70 new educators to the school district.

“He may go down as my best hire ever,” Swan said. “Hopefully, that’s the first and last time in my career I get to give that award.”


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