How a Saranac student saved another teen's life - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

How a Saranac student saved another teen's life

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Riley Baughn Riley Baughn

It was a normal lunch period at Saranac High School when junior Riley Baughn saw his friend gasping for breath.

"Took a bite of an apple and he started choking. I didn't realize, like he was coughing and breathing in the beginning. I didn't know what was wrong with him. I went over to him and asked him," Riley said.

When Riley realized his friend was choking, he picked him up and performed the Heimlich maneuver-- something he's heard how to do, but never actually done.

"Didn't really fly out it kind of rolled out, but I heard him start coughing so I figured that was a sign to stop. So I stopped and he started coughing again, so I did a little bit more just to double-check. Then he started breathing again," Riley said.

Friends of Riley's alerted the American Red Cross about his heroic action. He won the Red Cross's statewide Hometown Hero award. Riley is the first North Country resident to receive this honor.

"Important that people are aware of proper procedures for the Heimlich maneuver, CPR, and so on, because it's just something you never know when it's going to be needed," said Peter Ensel of the American Red Cross.

Even though it was Riley's first time, he performed the Heimlich perfectly.

"Put your fist and your thumb, and take your other hand over it and push up with it forcefully. That's what I did anyway," he explained.

Riley remains modest and says his act was just instinct, wanting to help someone in need.

Click here for more on Red Cross first aid classes.

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