The Saratoga Sun -

Honoring a true HERO


SCWEMS director, Bill Dahlke, gives Dakota Swimley a firm handshake at the SES assembly meant to honor the third-grade student. Dakota was honored for calling 911 after his mom, Kayci, far left, was injured in a car accident. Principal Dave Rangitsch looks on from the podium.

After dialing 911 to help his injured mother, Saratoga third-grader Dakota Swimley was honored as a HERO (Helped with Emergency Rescue Operation) last Wednesday at the Saratoga Elementary School gymnasium. SES Principal Dave Rangistch and school counselor Ron Hoopes sponsored the assembly.

On July 27, Dakota and his family were in a car wreck on their way to Casper. His mother, Kayci, was ejected from the car and unconscious on the pavement. Dakota, with many scrapes and bruises, unbuckled himself and tried to unbuckle his brother and cousins, but the car seats were stuck.

Saratoga Elementary School principal Dave Rangitsch tells his students how Dakota Swimley became a HERO, by dialing 911 to save his mom's life.

Dakota later found his mother’s purse, grabbed her cellphone and dialed 911, and then gave the phone to his cousin’s girlfriend, who was able to tell the 911 response team where they were. The ambulance arrived and took the family to the hospital in Casper, and Kayci is now recovering with the aid of a medical brace and wheelchair.

Dakota was honored for his bravery and nobleness at the assembly, which was attended by the entire school and members of his family, including Kayci. Dakota was also presented with a jar of money raised from students, parents and others to help pay for Kayci’s medical expenses.

Saratoga Elementary held the money drive for students to bring in coins daily, while adults were encouraged to bring in paper money daily. In addition to the raised money, Dakota and his family were also awarded a $50 gift certificate from Platte River Pizza.


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