East Hamilton Teachers, Nurse Honored For Saving Student’s Life

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thanks to some alert East Hamilton Middle/High School teachers and the school nurse, eighth grader Joel Ervin is alive and in school with his friends. Last month, Joel collapsed in the gym and went into a seizure-like state, and became unresponsive.  He credits some East Hamilton heroes with his recovery.

Coaches Bailey Reeves, Holly Smith and Ryan Cooper were first on the scene when Joel passed out in PE class on Aug. 15.

The teachers used the school's automated external defibrillator (AED), and used CPR on Joel.

  School nurse Lynn Henry arrived and helped arrange further treatment.  Coach Smith, who is a school district CPR instructor had just worked with her school’s teachers two weeks ago, so the lessons were fresh on their mind.

Joel was rushed to Children's Hospital in Chattanooga, and was later flown to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville.  At a school-wide assembly, his grandmother Cindy Hitchcock told the school’s staff, "If not for you guys, he would not have made it.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart."

Joel said he loved his teachers.  "I would give them everything if I could," he said. "I'm so fortunate to go to school here."

Hamilton County Emergency Services Lt. Tony Sylvester and Public Information Officer Amy Maxwell, talked to students about the importance of seeking help and contacting a teacher when they see someone struggling to breathe.

News anchor David Carroll arranged the program, and contacted local businesses, including the Bi-Lo store on Ooltewah-Ringgold Road, Chick Fil-A, Massage Envy at Hamilton Place, and Publix on East Brainerd Road to donate and award gift cards to the nurse, teachers and Tony's family.  East Hamilton Principal Gail Chuy expressed thanks to everyone involved for shining the spotlight on her heroic staff members, and teaching students the basics of life-saving skills.


Claus For A Cause At Pie Slingers Pizzeria

The public is invited to join the Walker County Chamber of Commerce at Pie Slinger's Pizzeria, 56A Fieldstone Pkwy. in Rock Spring, Ga. (at Fieldstone Farms Center) for the third annual “Christmas Claus for a Cause” December luncheon as they celebrate the holiday season while giving back to the students of Walker County.  "Each year our board chair designates a charity ... (click for more)

Education Department Previews New Policies They Say Better Support Students

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen released details Wednesday about how Tennessee is planning to transition to the new federal K-12 education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act. Specifically, the department has published new materials that outline five opportunities and proposed strategies for how Tennessee’s education system under ESSA will increase equity, share more information ... (click for more)

2 Juveniles Arrested For Arson In Sevier County Fires

An investigation by special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, National Park Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office has resulted in charges being placed against two juveniles in connection with the deadly wildfires in Sevier County.  Last week, at the request of 4 th  District Attorney ... (click for more)

Walker County Will No Longer Have Full-Time County Attorney Under Whitfield Tenure; Will Add Full-Time Communications Director

Incoming Walker County Sole Commissioner Shannon Whitfield said under his administration there will no longer be a full-time county attorney. "We will outsource this service on a fee basis," he said. Mr. Whitfield said he has begun interviewing attorneys who might be able to help out the county from time to time. Don Oliver has long been the county attorney for Walker County ... (click for more)

Vehicle Emissions Testing Causes More Pollution Than It Prevents - And Response

While a noble cause to make sure vehicles are operating efficiently with the minimum amount of pollutants, a simple analysis makes it somewhat evident the VET program in Chattanooga causes more pollution that it prevents.  Though I don't know how many vehicles are tested on an annual basis, if you assume an average round trip of 10 miles to the nearest testing station (five ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Cost Of No Discipline

At the start of the current school year, state education officials gathered at some “state testing task force” when disciplinary records from across Tennessee happened to be revealed. You probably are unaware of this, as it seems to have been kept on the “down low,” but statewide a full 20 percent of the black males in our public schools were suspended at least once during the 2014-2015 ... (click for more)