Mayor Don Wesely today presented the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit to Ethan Sawyer, a fifth-grader at Roper Elementary School, for saving the life of his brother, Ben. The award, signed by President George Bush, is one of the Red Cross’s highest awards. It is given to a person who has saved or sustained a human life by using skills and knowledge gained from successfully completing Red Cross training.
Last spring, a week after Ethan’s class took the Red Cross Basic Aid Training Course, Ethan was playing on the computer while Ben, now a third-grader at Roper, watched television. Ben swallowed a piece of candy and began choking. With his mother and grandmother watching, Ethan told Ben to stay calm and gave him an abdominal thrust. The candy popped out on the first try.
“Ethan said he would not have known what to do if he had not taken the Red Cross class,” said Mayor Wesely. “Ethan is a hero because he used the lessons he had learned. I hope other young people who take the Red Cross training can learn from Ethan’s story. No matter what age, you could be called on to save a life. Remaining calm and knowing what to do can prevent a tragedy.”
Mary Matthiessen, Director of Health and Safety for the Lancaster County Red Cross Chapter, said the Red Cross gives the training to over 2,000 local elementary children every year.