The Mineola Village Board took time out to honor two young men, one of which probably would not have been at the village hall, much less in his fourth grade class at the Jackson Avenue School anymore, Wednesday night during their regular meeting.
On January 25, Steven Jones began choking on a piece of food, in the school cafeteria, signaling his condition utilizing the universal gesture of holding his hands on his neck. Jones’ friend, Nicholas Ramos, saw the act and recognizing it, administered a “back thrust” technique which he had learned as a member of Cub Scout Pack 246, dislodging the piece of food.
“Unable to speak or breathe, which is probably the scariest feeling you’ve ever had in your life, you let others around you know you were in trouble and needed help,” Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said to Jones, adding. “You didn’t panic; Steven you knew exactly what to do.”
The mayor added of Ramos: “Nick, you acted quickly and precisely and literally saved someone’s life. You saw what needed to be done and you did it. You were taught how to save lives and you did it.”
The board gave both of the 9-year olds citations for their actions as well as Village of Mineola pins. Jonnes’s mother Laurain, also gave Ramos a gift: a trophy thanking the fourth grader for saving her son’s life inscribed with a “thank you” and the date of his actions in the cafeteria.
“You guy’s probably don’t realize, but what you’ve also done is raise the awareness of learning first aid techniques and what to do when someone’s choking,” Strauss, an Eagle Scout and scout leader himself, said to the boys, encouraging residents to learn first aid techniques. “It could happen to any one of us. It could happen at school, at home or at the office or a restaurant. It can happen to family, friends or strangers. And because of your actions, you raised the awareness of what to do.”