Student and Instructor Honored by American Red Cross
Campus News

(L to R) Kim Eiler, Emma McLeish, Candy Hester

Franklin College junior Emma McLeish recently was honored by the American Red Cross with the organization’s Lifesaving Award for Professional Responders. The award recognized her heroic actions when she sprang into action twice in 2023 to use her training to save lives.

The first emergency occurred when McLeish, a Bargersville resident, was babysitting for a pregnant mother who suddenly went into labor. When McLeish realized the baby was already crowning, she called 911, then focused on the mother and delivered the infant. Once the baby was born, she stimulated the baby to cry and breathe before first responders arrived and took over.

The second emergency happened a few months later while McLeish was working at a fitness facility at Mount Pleasant Christian Church. Another staff member yelled to her to call 911. She made the call, responded to the situation, determined the man was in cardiac arrest and relayed the information to the 911 dispatcher. She then gave chest compressions and delivered a shock to the man using an AED. She continued CPR until firefighters arrived and took over.

The mother, infant and man all survived the emergencies, thanks to McLeish’s quick thinking, calm reactions and expert training.

McLeish received the Red Cross award during a special ceremony on the Franklin College campus on Tuesday, April 30. Candy Hester, a board member for the Southeast Chapter of the Red Cross in Indiana, traveled to campus to present the award. She explained the award is the highest honor given by the American Red Cross to individuals who save or sustain a life using skills learned in Red Cross training.

McLeish, an exercise science major who plans to pursue a career in the medical field, admitted the award was a bit overwhelming, but she was happy to be nominated and to share the moment with many friends, family and campus colleagues who attended the ceremony.

One very instrumental person in attendance was McLeish’s exercise science instructor, Kim Eiler, Ed.D. She was responsible for preparing McLeish on how to react in those emergency situations as part of the exercise science curriculum. And in a surprise moment during the ceremony, Hester also presented Eiler with an award – the Lifesaving Instructor Award from the American Red Cross, one of the highest awards given to instructors who teach the skills that help to save or sustain life.

Eiler is an associate professor of exercise science and has taught at Franklin College since 2004. She is a licensed instructor for the American Red Cross with the ability to certify students in Basic Life Support (BLS), CPR/AED and First Aid. She also has certification as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). She received her bachelor’s degree from Biola University, her master’s degree from Manchester University and her doctorate in education from Auburn University. Eiler resides in Franklin.

For more information, contact the Franklin College Office of Communications at (317) 738-8185.

POSTED May 7, 2024