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Pascack Valley High School Teacher Springs Into Action To Save Choking Student

Julianne Downes teaches family and consumer sciences at Pascack Valley High School.
Julianne Downes teaches family and consumer sciences at Pascack Valley High School. Photo Credit: Pascack.org

Julianne Downes was teaching her culinary arts students at Pascack Valley High School how to prepare chicken when she noticed something wasn't right.

One of the students on March 13 was having trouble breathing and couldn't speak.

That's when Downes jumped into action -- remembering the CPR training the teachers recently had -- and gave her student the heimlich maneuver, the district said in a release .

It took nearly 20 times Downes said, but finally, the chicken came out and the student began breathing and required no further medical attention.

The district's superintendent Dr. P. Erik Gundersen praised Downes for her quick-thinking.

“We are ever grateful to Ms. Downes for remaining calm, remembering her training, and saving this student’s life.”

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