Bethany Christian School recognizes student responder

Life-saving award givenfor brave actions

MELBOURNE, Fla. - Bethany Christian School student Austin Van Kirk is being recognized this morning with a life-saving award from his school, according to Local 6's news partner Florida Today.

The high school senior sprang to action earlier this week after he saw an elementary school student fall to the ground.

Recognizing it might be a seizure, Austin turned the boy on his side and, getting down on the ground, asked him questions and spoke to him to keep him calm, Principal Sue Schwanda said.

Austin had received training as part of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office Explorers, a group that learns about law enforcement and volunteers in the community, she said.

A teacher used her cell phone to called 9-1-1. Meanwhile, Austin explained to the boy that firefighters would be responding and not to be scared.

After accompanying him to the ambulance, Austin told his classmates — who has seen him fall — that he would be OK.

"This young man has been in our school since preschool," Schwanda said of Van Kirk.

"He has grown into this leader. He's just become an incredible young man."

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