Carnival honors are well deserved

Teachers don’t always get the recognition they deserve. In ways big and small, despite budget cuts and politics, teachers shape our country’s future and our childrens’ lives — sometimes, they even save them.

Such was the case last February, when Petrova Elementary School teacher Emily Doyle-Shubert’s quick actions saved the life of a local first grader, Charlotte Swinyer. Swinyer swallowed a piece of ice during a field trip to the Ice Palace; when it got lodged in her throat, she ran to her teacher for help and Doyle-Shubert performed the Heimlich maneuver.

This could have been a tragedy.

Swinyer’s parents have called Doyle-Shubert a hero. We agree.

In recent years, the Winter Carnival Committee chairman has presented buttons to members of the community when an exceptional event occurs during Carnival.

“Charlotte, in her excitement of visiting the palace, swallowed a piece of ice,” Winter Carnival Rob Russell said on Wednesday. “But Charlotte, because of her training, at home, in school and in coaches and teachers … in remembering her lessons … Charlotte went directly to Emily. … They claimed a magical moment together in a very scary situation.”

As it turns out, it was just a coincidence that Doyle-Shubert had the right training at the right time. She told the Enterprise last year that she got certified in first aid when she used to coach high school soccer, but she’d never actually had to perform the Heimlich maneuver before.

Anyone can get CPR and first aid training. You don’t have to be a coach, a teacher or a medical professional. As Doyle-Shubert and Swinyer’s ordeal shows, you never know when you’ll need it.

Local rescue and ambulance squads often offer training, either for free or at a low cost. The Saranac Lake Volunteer Rescue Squad, for example, accepts requests for class information through its website, www.saranaclakerescue.com.

The Red Cross offers some classes online at www.redcross.org.

North Country Community College also offers both EMT and advanced EMT courses that are open to the public: www.nccc.edu/emstraining.

Those who get certified may find that they want to use their knowledge on a regular basis — in that case, local EMS squads are almost always looking for new volunteers.

We can’t think of anyone more deserving of this year’s first buttons than Doyle-Shubert and Swinyer. Honoring these two was a great precursor to this year’s Carnival festivities.

Correction: An earlier version of this editorial included an incorrect spelling of Emily Doyle-Shubert’s last name. The Enterprise regrets the error.


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