N.Y. Student Recognized for Heroic Response to Choking Incident on Bus

Sen. Jen Metzger, center, awarded the New York State Liberty Medal to 14-year-old Rachel Trimbell. Trimbell, left. Also pictured is Delaware County Sheriff Craig DuMond, who presented another award to Trimbell in May.
Sen. Jen Metzger, center, awarded the New York State Liberty Medal to 14-year-old Rachel Trimbell, left. Also pictured is Delaware County Sheriff Craig DuMond, who presented another award to Trimbell in May.

Student Rachel Trimbell was awarded the New York State Liberty Medal by Sen. Jen Metzger on July 10 for rescuing a younger student who was choking on a piece of candy while riding on the school bus in March.

Trimbell, 14, had been recertified a week before the incident in CPR training through the Fire Department of Explorers Program but had never used her training before. While riding on Walton Central School District bus, a younger classmate, first-grader Danielle Miller, started choking on a piece of candy.

Trimbell sprang into action and performed the Heimlich maneuver, which dislodged the candy. Trimbell is now being recognized for those heroic actions across the state of New York.

“Rachel Trimbell’s swift and courageous actions were nothing short of heroic,” Sen. Metzger announced. “Her willingness to take charge in this frightening emergency situation and make use of her first-aid knowledge is truly worthy of this important recognition.”

The Liberty Medal is the highest civilian honor that a New York resident can receive. The award recognizes individuals for exceptional “heroic or humanitarian acts on behalf of their fellow New Yorkers.”

On May 22, Trimbell became the first-ever recipient of the “Super Star Award,” which was awarded through the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office. Delaware County Sheriff Craig DuMond recently adopted a new program, “The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office Award Recognition Program,” which is designed to recognize extraordinary acts by both law enforcement and civilians in situations that are viewed as heroic or brave.

That award program is meant to honor individuals who show qualities that go above and beyond in their efforts to preserve life, liberty and property.


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Sen. Jen Metzger, in blazer, posing with the Trimbell family.