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cpr2The following was submitted by Tali Orad of Fox Meadow

It became a tradition at the Fox Meadow Elementary school to teach the 5th graders the basic and very important chocking rescue technique. Every Spring, just before graduation, a group of dedicated 5th graders stay after school to learn a new skill.
The program, led by Fox Meadow's nurse Ms. Cliona Cronin and given by Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corps Emergency Medical Technicians, Marc Guthartz and his team, aim to teach the kids how to avoid choking ("sit when you eat, don't run around"), as well as what to do when someone next to them is choking.

cpr1As the last bell rings and the class begin, SVAC volunteers demonstrating proper choking techniques on a mannequin. This is not any mannequin, "Choking Charlie" is its name, and it shows tricks. Then they continue with discussing why we are breathing and that it means to have an abstraction of air. Marc, leading the session starts with how one can distinguish between a partial airway abstraction and a full one, hint - in partial, one can speak or caught - this sparks a lively discussion among the kids. The 5th graders are also being thought the universal choking sign. The fun part for the children is when they get a chance to practice the Heimlich maneuver skill on the mannequin. Choking Charlie and his friends are being passed around and each child gets a turn to practice. The class is almost over as the team share some important tips with the kids on how to stay safe and when to call 911.
By the time the class is done, the kids have a basic idea on how to prevent choking and what to do if one does. They even receive a certificate that they successfully completed the class.

cpr4The program started in 2014 by Tali Orad with the support of former principle Duncan Wilson. Tali formed an organization to promote CPR education after saving a life of a 1 years old child using CPR. This year is marked as the 5th year that Fox Meadow offer this class. Marc and Nurse Cronin, with the support of the new principal work very hard to have this session offered as part of the after school curriculum.
Tali and the entire team are grateful that this program found support at the FM school. Tali adds that she is "proud of all 5th graders participating in this class, knowing how important the skill is. A 9 years old can save a life, and a 9 years old did.This story is from Boston where a third grader saved her best friend, as she was choking at school just one day after learning the Heimlich Maneuver. I hope we will not hear of any child choking in FM but if they do, I know they will know what to do."

cpr3A very special thank you to Nurse Cronin, Marc Guthartz and his team, Fox Meadow interim Principal Karen Eldon, Assistant Principal Melissa Feinberg, SVAC, Tali Orad, and of course the 5th grade parents and the kids for supporting and participating in this free program.
Hopefully this story will inspire the other four elementary schools in town.

SVACTeamScarsdale’s Volunteer Ambulance Corps took home four awards, including the coveted Chairman’s Award at the Westchester Regional EMS Council Annual Awards dinner on Thursday night May 23 at SUNY Purchase. Founded in 1970, SVAC became the first ambulance service in the county to offer advanced life support in 1996. They now have three ambulances and handle over 1,800 cases each year. The corps provides service to Scarsdale as well as the north end of New Rochelle and has an on-scene arrival time averaging less than five minutes.

For the past eight years, SVAC has offered EMT classes and they became an official New York State Training Center in 2016. Since then they have graduated 16 classes of EMT’s and offered a six-week EMT class for high school seniors.

For recognition of the agency as a whole and their educational excellence, SVAC was granted the Chairman’s Award, which had not be given in five years.

ChairmansAwardSVAC President and champion David Raizen was given the Westchester County Leadership Award. Raizen is a lifelong resident of Scarsdale and took CPR while a student a Scarsdale High School. When he turned 18, he started riding the SVAC ambulance and continued his education, receiving his EMT certificate in 1979 and certification as a Paramedic in 2017.

Under his 15 years of leadership, the corps has grown from 25 to 130 volunteers. He has upgraded the level of service and provides advanced life support. In 2014 David became the youngest person to be awarded the Scarsdale Bowl, the Village’s highest award for volunteering.

SVAC also won two additional awards related to lifesaving work at specific events:

Four members of the Ambulance Corps and four Scarsdale Police officers received an award for saving the life of a man found at the bottom of his pool. According to his son, the man had complained of chest pain a few hours earlier. His son found his father at the bottom of the pool and called 911. Emergency workers arrived within 3 minutes and were able to rescue the man from the bottom of the pool and successfully resuscitate him.


Here are the names of those who received the award:


David Raizen Paramedic
Robert Rizzo Paramedic
James Gross EMT
Elissa Schilmeister EMT

Scarsdale Police

Anthony Santana
Michael Coyne
Michael Siciliano
Victoria Wanterman

A second award was given for saving the life of a 25 year-old man who had overdosed on heroin. His father found him and summoned SVAC who found the father doing CPR on his unresponsive son. David Raizen and Paramedic Wolfgang Lawton administered large doses of NARCAN while performing CPR and resuscitated the victim. Also credited for their efforts were:

Alyssa Murray Paramedic
Heliodoro Mendes Paramedic
Deborah Fuchs EMT

In both instances, the victims left the hospital in the same condition they were in before the events.WREMSCOAwards

Congratulations to SVAC on the awards and thanks to all they do for residents of Scarsdale. They rely on community support to fund their work. Please give a gift to keep this vital service available to all residents. Learn more and donate here:

Photos by Jon Thaler. See more here:

AlumniDayOn Stage: Heather Harrison, Andrew Ross Sorkin and Jeffrey Hoffman: On Screens: Lindsay Gotlieb and Andy JassyThe Scarsdale Alumni Association celebrated the 100 Year Anniversary of Scarsdale High School on Saturday, May 11th. Scarsdale alumni, administrators, and students gathered in the Scarsdale High School Auditorium followed by a networking reception at the Learning Commons. "Scarsdale is one of the preeminent communities in the world," said Zach Harrison, President of the Scarsdale Alumni Association. "It's great to see so many alumni at this event to celebrate our 100 year anniversary." Harrison encouraged alumni to promote their great experiences growing up in Scarsdale wherever they go "to ensure we continue to have great people choosing Scarsdale as their community for the next 100 years and beyond."

The day started with a panel of distinguished Scarsdale alumni featuring Andrew Ross Sorkin, Andy Jassy, Lindsay Gottlieb and Jeffrey Hoffman who shared their inspiring life stories which started in Scarsdale. The panel was moderated by Heather Harrison. Proceeds from the event will go to fund scholarships for deserving Scarsdale students in need.

USCThe widely reported college admissions scandal has become a hot topic among parents of college-bound students. The dishonesty that prevailed among members of the highest echelons of society – business executives, actors, law firm partners, doctors – is staggering. It feeds the narrative that wealthy people in the United States have an unfair advantage in gaining their children’s admission to top colleges and universities. This, in turn, adds to the political polarization that prevails today and the class warfare narrative that sadly informs some modern day politicians and commentators.

Most people with whom I’ve discussed the matter view the scandal with disgust. They are taken aback by the dishonesty, lack of ethics, and the influence of money and power in a system that is supposed to be merit-based. A common refrain is a lament of many students’ and parents’ focus on college rankings and a small subset of elite schools, which can have an unhealthy impact on the experience of high school students throughout the already stressful college admissions process. I believe the scandal illuminates the reality that in a competitive community such as Scarsdale, admission to college causes families to lose perspective. Most people would not cheat or buy their way to their kids’ acceptance to a top school. Still, the lengths to which some will go are concerning. Many families spend thousands and thousands of dollars on test prep for the ACT or SAT; kids are encouraged to engage in year-round athletics; they assume burdensome academic schedules; they suffer sleep deprivation; and they otherwise engage in excessive behaviors over multi-year periods in response to the pressure to get into their dream school. While I’d like to think my wife and I have completely avoided these behaviors with our own kids, that would be an overstatement.

There are other factors at play insofar as parents are concerned. People are influenced by what they hear at community events, on the sidelines at school athletic contests and at cocktail parties. Before one knows it, which college your child is attending becomes a barometer of how good a parent you’ve been. Similarly, students succumb to the buzz in class, in the hallways and at practices and their sense of self-worth is tied up in the name of a college.

In short, in affluent communities it can seem like everyone is gunning for admission to a top school. We might recognize deep down that college is not really about a prize or status, but then emotions, competitiveness and insecurity create a reflexive desire for admission to the most selective school. There’s no question that most of us want the best for ourselves and our children. So, the logic goes, college selectivity must be tied to quality.

But that’s where the logic, to some extent, ends. As I wrote in an earlier column for Scarsdale10583.com, studies repeatedly show that the greatest early determinant of career success for most students from upper middle class and wealthy families – measured by lifetime income – are the academic credentials of the student applying to college, and not the identity of the college. In other words, all things being equal, take two highly motivated students with identical grades and identical standardized test scores, send one to an elite college and one to a middle-of-the road state school, and the data consistently shows that their lifetime earnings will be roughly equivalent. (Minority students and students from less wealthy families do tend to earn more than their peers if they attend an elite college, with the most common explanation given that the institutions have broader professional networks that help facilitate early career advancement.)

For most of us in Scarsdale, the reality is that whatever motivates the college application rat race to get into the best school possible, it’s more about prestige, ego and bragging rights, and not about the student’s future career prospects. As we ponder the lessons of the college admissions scandal, we’d be well served to re-evaluate our priorities and recognize that when it comes to helping our children get into an elite school, it’s as much about our own status as it is our children’s future success.

Do you have comments on the college admission scandal? Share them below!

East EndMayor Marc Samwick and Deputy Mayor Jane Veron sat down recently to discuss the May 15th public forum that will be held at Rutherford Hall at 7:00pm to address the redevelopment of the Freightway parking garage. Here is what they shared:

We have been hearing a lot about the redevelopment of the Freightway parking garage; what’s going on with the project?

MS The Freightway parking garage was built in 1972 and is currently in need of nearly $2.5 million of repair and upgrade work. After looking at the very successful development of Christie Place, the Village Board decided to assess resident interest in the potential redevelopment of the Freightway garage site. For those of you who might remember, Christie Place was nearly built as a stand-alone parking garage at taxpayer’s expense. At the last minute, the Christie Place project shifted and is now a vibrant residential and retail hub with below-grade parking for village residents. Learning from that experience, in 2017, the Village Board chose to take a proactive approach, initiating a visioning study. The results showed support for a redevelopment under a model similar to that of Christie Place.

JV We are fortunate that at this moment when we are considering the possibilities for Freightway, the development community has demonstrated strong interest in transit-oriented development (TOD). With the goal of attracting millennials and empty nesters, many neighboring communities have pursued TOD opportunities. In this environment, Scarsdale has the chance to evaluate again a potential taxpayer funded parking garage as compared to a new residential and parking structure funded by a private developer. If Scarsdale enters into a public-private partnership, the mixed-use development would seek to integrate both sides of our Village Center and to create sustainable benefits to our community, such as public open space and better pedestrian connectivity, all funded by the developer.

Where are we in the process and how can we expect the process to continue going forward?MarcSamwickMarc Samwick

JV Last July, we initiated a two-step process to engage with the development community. At that time, we issued a Request for Expression of Interest (RFEI) to private developers who might be interested in partnering with the Village to create a new hub that would bring vitality to our Village Center. The foundation for the RFEI were the guiding principles developed by the community through the visioning study. We were very pleased to receive seven responses from top developers that addressed these principles. The next step in the process will be to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP), where the development community is asked to offer more detailed plans. The process continues with interviews, presentations and ultimately the selection of a Preferred Developer; negotiation of a mutually acceptable development agreement with the Preferred Developer; and the standard land use process which will include the Planning Board, Board of Architectural Review and the Village Board.

What’s happening at this Community Engagement Meeting and why is it important to attend?

MS - The Village recently retained a planning firm, AKRF, to advise the Village on the Freightway project. AKRF has extensive experience throughout Westchester County, the New York Metropolitan Area and the Boston-Washington corridor and has worked on TOD projects involving the MTA. They bring valuable experience to the project. The meeting on May 15th is designed to introduce AKRF to the community and to provide the community with the opportunity to express its preferences about the redeveloped Freightway site prior to the issuance of a Request for Proposals in June. Residents are encouraged to review the responses to the RFEI here prior to the public forum.

What is the timeline for the next steps in the project?

MS - As I mentioned, on May 15th we will hold a Community Engagement Meeting at 7 pm in Rutherford Hall with our planning consultant, AKRF. The intent of the meeting is to bring residents up to date on the Freightway process and to engage the public prior to issuing the RFP. The Village expects to issue the RFP in June 2019. The development community has been waiting to hear back from the Village since the RFEI submissions were provided in October 2018. We expect the RFP process to result in the selection of a Preferred Developer later in the year.

Anything else?

JaneVeronheadshotJane VeronJV - We encourage residents to attend the May 15th Community Engagement Meeting to hear more about the Freightway process and to share their preferences for the redevelopment of Freightway prior to the issuance of the RFP.

MS - The Village Board started with extensive resident input through the visioning study and will continue to seek resident input throughout the process at events such as this public forum.

JV - The Village Board is focused on issues that matter to residents, namely the potential impact on parking, traffic and schools among others. There will be ample time to address these matters, and other potential concerns, as we better understand the plans that are developed for the Freightway site.

MS - We believe that we are embarking on a project that can materially enhance our Village Center, and we look forward to creating a shared vision with the community.

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