By Taylor Giuffre-Catalano
“If Erika hadn’t been there, I don’t know if the right steps would have been taken,” stated Superintendent of Schools Dr. Dianne Kelly during the September 20 School Committee meeting.
During last week’s meeting, Beachmont School security guard Erika Svendsen was honored by the City of Revere, the School Committee, and the Mayor with a certificate of recognition presented for extraordinary acts of heroics that saved the life of her colleague.
Dr. Kelly briefly recounted the “scare,” which occurred in the kitchen at the Beachmont School, on a day in which the building was closed for maintenance. Svendsen– who has a background working as an EMT– noticed, found, and aided a colleague who was in a life-threatening situation. “It was Erika’s knowledge of the building, and her knowledge of what the plans were for that day of the shutdown, that signaled to her where she should look for [her colleague] when she wasn’t able to find her,” Dr. Kelly noted.
Dr. Kelly continued her acknowledgement: “Her medical background… told her how to treat a specific situation differently than what the rest of us would be inclined to do. There was a question about whether CPR should be administered, and Erika knew enough not to do that in this particular situation. Instead, she should respond differently– and she did.”
Dr. Kelly explained that Svendsen supported and aided her colleague through this situation until Revere Fire and EMS were able to respond. Svendsen was further commended for her “awareness,” and Dr. Kelly remarked that because of her actions, her colleague was healthy and in attendance at the meeting. “We are thankful to have Erika, who saved her [colleague’s] life,” she concluded.
With her family in the audience, Svendsen accepted the certificate of recognition, and was met with a standing ovation from the School Committee.