Canavan honored by Fire Department

From Staff Reports

Local teacher Tracey Canavan says she is humbled by the recognition she received for helping to save a student’s life.

Tracey Canavan, center, accepts the Meritorious Lifesaver Award. Special photo

“I praise the Lord for being with me and equipping me for that moment,” she says. “With-out His grace, I’m not sure how calmly I would have reacted.”

Canavan, a special-education instructor at Pate’s Creek Elementary School, was recognized with Aug. 24 with a Meritorious Lifesaver Award from the Henry County Fire Department. The honor stems from an Aug. 6 incident at the school, in which she saved a boy from choking. The wheelchair-bound, special-needs child was eating a hot dog during lunchtime when his airway became obstructed, and he lost consciousness. Canavan, an educator for 23 years, was alone in the room with the boy, but quickly took the room’s phone off the hook to alert the office of the emergency. She then started performing the Heimlich maneuver and began CPR in an attempt to remove the obstruction prior to EMS arrival.

Canavan’s immediate efforts dislodged the obstruction clearing the student’s airway. By the time EMS arrived, it was apparent her quick actions made the difference in the child’s life. On August 24, Chief Bill Lacy, along with Deputy Chief Brad Johnson and the crew of HCFD Station No. 8, visited the school and presented Canavan with the award in honor of her extraordinary act of bravery and heroism.