Paramedics assist elementary students after carbon monoxide leak

9:10 PM, Dec 4, 2012   |    comments
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(AP file)

ATLANTA, Ga. --- First responders are well aware it's their job to save lives.

But Tuesday night, we chose to shine the light on Grady paramedics for their fast response and ability to keep more than 500 Finch elementary school students safe and calm when carbon monoxide forced the little ones out of their school building.

With no time to waste, paramedics worked desperately coming to the aid of dozens of Finch students Monday morning.

Grady Paramedic Steven Mitchell, seen here with both hands full, was just one of the many first responders to the scene.

"Some of the kids were really sleepy," said Mitchell. "Some of them were crying and just really scared."

A scare big enough to send six adults and 43 children to the hospital.

But it was, perhaps, the attention on the little ones caused the hearts of those working to pump even faster.

In the end, those rapid beats would pay off - preventing a situation that could have taken a deadly turn.

"We gave them as much oxygen as we had," said Mitchell.

And it was most certainly needed after fire fighters and paramedics tested the levels of carbon monoxide on each child.

"Luckily, we had enough people there and it was all organized really well that it went smoothly," said Mitchell.

"When we first arrived, the fire department was on scene," said Grady Paramedic Wade Miles. "They had already evacuated the children out of the building."

Miles was also one of the first to arrive on the scene.

"The kids were scared. They didn't really know what was going on - what any time you deal with children young blood pressure goes up a bit -- you get a little nervous - when you have over 500 kids it's even more," said Miles.

Thanks to a little bit of patience - and a helping hand by emergency personnel - all kids made it out...and home safely.

"The kids were all great," said Miles. "They followed our orders and commands as we asked them to do and just let us do our thing."

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