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Eleanor Payne, assistant principal of Grand Island’s Veronica Conner Middle School was credited Wednesday by fire and police officials for saving the life of a 10-year-old girl who collapsed in the Ransom Road school about 4 p.m. Monday.

The girl had left the school early in the day because of an undisclosed illness but returned late in the afternoon with her mother to pick up some items.

The child collapsed in the hallway near her locker and Payne, who was still in the main office, heard the mother scream.

Rushing to the girl, Payne administered CPR because she could not find a pulse. Payne’s efforts restored the girl’s breathing. Grand Island volunteer firefighters then arrived and began treating the girl, who was taken to Buffalo’s Women & Children’s Hospital.

Grand Island Fire Chief Kevin Koch said Payne’s efforts were instrumental in “assuring a positive outcome.”

Payne said she had just renewed her CPR certification on Aug. 30 and had her first CPR training “over 20 years” ago. She said she was thankful to have still been in the school so late Monday afternoon. Koch said “this life-saving scenario proves how extremely valuable CPR training can be, since you never know when it will be needed.”

email: mgryta@buffnews.com