PRESTON, Conn. — A student here is being credited for helping save her school bus driver who experienced a medical emergency behind the wheel.
Ava Boenig, a seventh-grade student at Preston Plains Middle School, was on her morning bus ride on Feb. 20 when the bus driver, Randy Centeno, suffered a medical emergency, WFSB reports. Boenig told the news source that Centeno pulled the bus over and started screaming in pain while asking someone to call 911. Centeno reportedly told Boenig that his chest was feeling tight, according to NBC Connecticut.
Boenig quickly used her cell phone to dial 911, WFSB reports. Paula Smith, the 911 dispatcher, told the news source that Boenig remained “very calm” throughout the call, despite hearing noise in the background from students and the bus driver in distress. Smith also said that Boenig was able to describe the bus’s exact location, and within minutes, another bus driver trained as an emergency medical technician (EMT) and Preston Fire Chief Tom Casey arrived to the scene.
Becky Boenig, Ava’s mother, told NBC Connecticut that she “couldn’t be more proud” of her daughter, who reportedly wants to become a state police trooper. Centeno added that he is “extremely thankful” for Boenig and all of the other students on the bus that day, and that he looks forward to thanking them in person. Preston Public Schools is planning a private recognition ceremony, according to NBC Connecticut.