“Pawsing” to celebrate at Potter School

Jan 11, 2019

Celebrating student accomplishments with “Paws” assemblies is nothing new at Potter Elementary School, but one student had something big to celebrate: His life-saving actions.

On Jan. 11, students and faculty, joined by first responders, came together to honor Potter fourth grader Kazin Crisman for his heroism in saving his grandfather’s life when he suffered a diabetic emergency.

It happened on Jan. 5, when he was at his grandfather Alan Crisman’s Swansea home. As the pair were preparing to go out for pizza, Kazin realized something was wrong when his grandfather was acting strangely.

Kazin asked his grandfather if he was okay and if he needed to call 911. When his grandfather didn’t respond, he grabbed his phone and dialed 911.

His grandpa is a diabetic -- which Kazin knew and communicated to first responders -- and was hypoglycemic. First responders credit Kazin for saving his grandpa’s life.

Dartmouth Police Department Chief Brian Levesque and District No. 3 Firefighters Poente, O’Connor, and Medeiros came to the assembly to recognize Kazin.

The fire department runs a program designed to train kids and their families to be prepared for an emergency, including how to call 911, making safety plans with their families, and the importance of knowing where they are, because cell phones do not provide emergency responders with an exact location.

Poentes said that the program is backed up by statistics.

“That’s why it’s successful, that’s why it continues to thrive and be something good for the communities and the schools,” Poentes said.

Levesque credited Kazin’s quick thinking and said it was a credit to the safety training done in schools.

“I’m just extremely glad that Kazin knew what to do in that situation which was to grab the phone and dial 911,” Levesque said. “And I gotta say, he was also very observant to see that his grandfather was in distress and needed help.”

Kazin was honored during the school’s PAWs assembly along with about 50 of his fellow classmates. The regularly scheduled assemblies recognize kids for their kindness, safety skills, and learning prowess.

All the students clapped and cheered as their peers were recognized for accomplishments like working hard on a difficult subject, forgiving friends, and giving cheerful “good mornings.”

Principal Heidi Brooks said that the “Paws” program is part of the school culture at Potter.

“It’s something that we just keep going back to,” Brooks said. “We ‘paws’ to be kind, we ‘paws’ to be safe, we ‘paws’ to be a learner.”

Brooks explained that another focus of the “paws” program is encouraging children to pause and be thoughtful before acting or reacting to what is going on around them.

“If I can hold my emotions in check, if I can hold my physical self in check, I’m going to be able to focus on what I need to do to be a learner,” Brooks said.

The assembly was part of a post-vacation reboot where students were encouraged to think deeply about the “Paws” program as they transitioned back into the swing of school, and served as a fun end to the week.