Meagan Williamson, office administrator at Braeburn PS in north west Toronto, is being hailed as a hero after her quick thinking saved the life of a supply teacher at the school. The teacher was in the staff room at about 10:00 am on May 14, preparing for his next class and having a snack when Williamson heard disturbing noises coming from the room. She went into the room and saw the teacher hunched over and gagging. His skin colour was turning grey.
Wiliamson directed another staff person to call 9-1-1 and applied abdominal thrusts. "I gave him three or four really good [squeezes] and then he started gasping," she recalled.
Williamson then had the foresight to follow up on the 9-1-1 call, anticipating that the operator would have questions about the incident and the victim's condition. Emergency Medical Services arrived soon after and acknowledged that Williamson and other staff at the school likely saved the man's life.
Braeburn Principal Ali Abdi lauded his staff's actions. "I'm so proud of them," he said. "Meagan took first aid training last year. She showed no hesitation in taking control of the situation and acting immediately to avert a potentially more serious outcome."
The first aid training for staff, parents and community was offered at the school in May 2011 through the TDSB's Model Schools for Inner Cities initiative. Williamson said the training was definitely important. "I was able to maintain a sense of calm, which is key, because I knew exactly what I needed to do in an emergency situation."
The teacher is back at school now and Williamson is glad that he is. "It can happen to anyone so I'm just happy that I was able to help."