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Independent Thoughts: Fifth-grader honored for life-saving response

by | Oct 16, 2019 | Featured

Fifth-grader honored for life-saving response

Hopkinton fifth-grader Remi VanDeusen was honored at the Oct. 8 Select Board meeting, standing next to his proud father, Chris.

If not for Remi’s actions this past summer, his father might not have been there at all.

On July 14, Remi’s father was stung by a bee. He went into the house, told Remi he was in trouble, and collapsed.

Remi, who had received training from a Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) program in school, knew exactly what to do.

“Remi had the courage and the education from the first-responders and the educators to call 9-1-1 and guide the first-responders to his house,” Hopkinton Fire Prevention Officer Tim Healy explained at the Select Board ceremony. “Anaphylaxis is a very serious emergency. As I read the medical report, when they got there, [Chris’] vital signs were critical. If it weren’t for the courage and the quick action of Remi, things could have been different. But today, we’re here.”

State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey presented Remi with a Young Hero Award and a commemorative T-shirt.

The award “recognizes a child, family or group of children who respond appropriately in an emergency by demonstrating key fire and life-safety behaviors learned from a S.A.F.E. program.”

State Rep. Carolyn Dykema, also on hand for the ceremony, presented Remi with a proclamation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

“When it counted, that information that was put in your head through that S.A.F.E. program came right back and allowed you to make a terrific and life-saving decision on behalf of your dad,” she told him. We’re all just incredibly proud of that.”

Added Dykema: “You clearly are a quick-thinking, focused and really just a smart young man. That you were able to do this and act as you did under these types of circumstances is quite remarkable. And what I particularly like about it is that I bet all of your friends know what happened, and I think you are also a role model.”

Select Board chair Brendan Tedstone joined in on the praise.

“There have been many things that I have done on the Board of Selectmen that have been very, very cool. This tops it,” he said. “This is absolutely the coolest thing that I have been able to sit through. … What you did, I’m sure you know, is about as cool of a thing that you can do.”

After the ceremony, Chris VanDeusen made a point to offer his thanks to the first-responders in town.

“I’m obviously very proud of my son, but I’m also incredibly grateful for the quick efforts by the first-responders,” he said. “Really, they saved my life. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them. Obviously my son, that was key and everything, but these guys got to me and they saved me.”


K of C hosts Special Day

An athlete enjoys a ride on a pony at the Ashland/Hopkinton Knights of Columbus Special People’s Field Day on Sept. 29.

The Ashland/Hopkinton Bishop Rice Council 4822 of the Knights of Columbus held its annual Special People’s Field Day on Sept. 29 at the Ashland Fish and Game Club.

Hopkinton’s Alex Levine, who runs the Special Olympic program in town, arranged for the special athletes to attend the event, which included kickball, softball, Frisbee and beanbag toss games along with pony rides (courtesy of Ridge Valley Stables in Grafton) and a barbecue (including food from T.J.’s Restaurant and Price Chopper) followed by a visit from a Juniper Farms ice cream truck. The Ashland Fire Department sent two of its trucks and provided tours.

Council member Dan Norton, who is the physical education teacher at Marathon School and the Hopkinton High School varsity lacrosse coach, led the activities with support from HHS lacrosse players.

All special athletes received a medal and a T-shirt.

“All in all it was a beautiful day,” said council Deputy Grand Knight Bill Muench.


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