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Boy Becomes Instant Hero

Nine-year-old saves fellow student from choking

Knowledge could be the difference between life and death. Drastic thought? Not in Mineola resident Nicholas Ramos’ case.

The 9-year-old Jackson Avenue School student used every bit of his knowledge when he saved fellow student Steven Jones from choking to death on Friday, Jan. 25. According to Steven’s mother Laurain, he took a bite of a carrot and shortly after, Steven’s lips turned blue and he couldn’t breath.

Jones, 9, immediately started grabbing at his throat, the universal choking sign, before Ramos sprang into action. As Jones struggled with the carrot, Ramos raced around the lunchroom table and began hitting Jones in his lower back, dislodging the carrot in the process.

Oddly enough, it was Ramos’ carrot Jones began choking on. Ramos, who’s not fond of vegetable, handed them over to Jones during lunch. After that, Ramos didn’t have time to think, only react.

“He choked so I banged him on the back,” said Ramos after school on Feb. 12. “He did the choking signal.”

Ramos, a junior Webelo Cub Scout in Pack 246, credited his training in emergency situations he received from the Pack and his den leader and mother…Linda Ramos.

Nicholas said this experience could prepare him for other challenges in life and noted Steve, his friend of three years, learned from the experience too.

Fourth-and fifth-graders usually study the Heimlich maneuver, something Ramos hasn’t learned yet, late in the year. According to Linda, easy-to-learn first aid techniques are taught appropriate to their age.

“I still think at his age, I don’t know if he realized what could have been if he didn’t do that,” she said. “It was a team effort. If Steven didn’t know what to do to indicate he was in distress, Nicholas wouldn’t have reacted.”

The busy school district parent was proud to hear of her son’s feat, but didn’t learn it from Nicholas. Laurain told her the next day. 

“He didn’t say anything about it,” said Linda. “Nicholas and Steven play hockey together. So they were playing on the weekend and Laurain walked over to me and she hugged me and said ‘I can’t thank you enough’ and I said ‘for what?’ That’s how I found out about it.”

Jones couldn’t have been more grateful for his friend’s awareness.

“I was kind of scared when the carrot got stuck, but when it came out I was relieved and I was proud of Nicholas for what he did,” Jones said.

The Jones did not rest on their laurels either when it comes first aid knowledge. Steve Sr., an emergency medical technician, and Laurain, a Girl Scout leader for Pack 1087, taught young Steven a few things, especially the choking sign. Safety talk in her household is par for the course.

 “General first-aid, call 911, it’s just common; talked about in the house, like the universal choke sign” she said. “Thank God in that situation Nicholas knew what  [the sign] meant. My son is alive because a brave, fast-thinking 9-year-old.”

Steve Sr. is a volunteer EMT in East Williston and previously worked for the Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corp. He said he knows this situation all too well in his line of work.

“I’ve seen that before,” he said. “I know when the lips turn blue, that’s due to lack of oxygen. Something simple like [patting the back] can make all the difference.”


News

In a typical Long Island community packed with houses and backyards, there are a couple of acres of open land of community gardens where people are growing basil and dahlias and roses and cabbages—people like Terry Dunckey of Westbury and Peg Woerner of Great Neck, tending their small plots and helping to promote sustainable and organic practices.

East Meadow Farm, off Merrick Avenue, is owned by Nassau County and operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Nassau County. Previously it was a family-owned farm that was purchased by the county through the Environment Bond Act Program, a $150 million program that called for, among several mandates, the preservation of 400 acres of open space. In 2009, CCE of Nassau was awarded the lease to the land and in January 2012 took possession of the property. East Meadow Farm is a place where we can get the best advice on how to make our gardens grow without harming the earth. Part of the CCE’s original proposal was the establishment of a farmer’s market and, now, the market is open two days a week, a place to purchase organic vegetables and flowers during the growing season.

Drivers—get ready to slow down. Nassau County is currently in the process of installing school zone speed cameras in an effort to enhance safety by encouraging drivers to travel with caution, as well as support law enforcement efforts to crack down on violators and prevent accidents caused by speeding.

Nassau County officials say they’re still investigating locations in the Mineola School District, while leaning towards installing cameras near the North Side or Willets Road schools in the East Williston School District. Cameras could begin operation in September.


Sports

Nobody wants to make excuses, but sometimes when the injury bug hits, it’s impossible to overcome. Mineola Mustangs football head coach Dan Guido, entering his 28th season at helm, knows the injuries were the cause for their first-round defeat at the hands of the West Hempstead Rams last November.

“There was too many injuries on the offensive line last season,” said Guido. “It was supposed to be our strength and it ended up being a weak link by the end of the season.”

Even with those injuries, the Mustangs went 4-4 during the regular season.

The BU15 Mineola Revolution were crowned champions of the Roar at the Shore Tournament 2014 in West Islip on Aug. 10. After dropping the opener 2-0 against North Valley Stream, Mineola bounced back to beat Freeport Premiere 2-1.

The Revolution’s offense exploded in the third game as they beat West Islip 7-0. Mineola’s final game pitted them against Quickstrike FC, which entered the contest without a loss and within a point of winning the tournament.


Calendar

Zoning Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 28

Mineola Village Meeting

Wednesday, Sept. 3

School Board Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 4



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com