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Ridgewood girl, 5, saves choking mom’s life thanks to Harry Kindergarten ‘911!’ video

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

SHOUT OUT: A 911 call that turned a 5-year-old Ridgewood girl whose mother was choking on a potato chip into a heroine wouldn’t have been possible without an educational video her father showed her.

Chloe Olson was playing nearby as her mom began choking while eating hummus and potato chips and talking on the phone with her dad Tuesday afternoon. Unable to speak, Kerry Olson told him she’d call back.

She hung up, then began having trouble dislodging the food.

“Chloe got worried and upset,” Ridgewood Police Chief John Ward told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this afternoon. “But her dad had just shown her a YouTube video on his iPad about dialing 911 in emergencies.”

Pete Harry with his daughter, Justice

The video was one of more than 230 produced by Peter M. Harry, aka: “Harry Kindergarten,” a kindergarten teacher in a Pennsylvania public school district who operates a YouTube channel popular with educators.

Putting the knowledge to use, young Chloe took the phone and dialed — thinking she was contacting her father.

Michael Shore answered the call at Northwest Bergen Central Dispatch in Ridgewood.


“Daddy, mommy’s choking,” Chloe said.

Shore, a part-time dispatcher who also is an auxiliary police officer, immediately confirmed the address and kept Chloe calm while alerting police.

“Can you open the front door and I’ll get help over to you?” he said.

“OK,” Chloe responded.

“OK, open the front door and we’ll be right there,” Shore told her.

“Love you,” Chloe said. “Bye.”

Kerry Olson had dislodged the food as a squadron of police, firefighters and EMS workers arrived at her door, Ward said.

All thanks to a simple, 3½–minute video.

Harry began his online career by creating songs and videos for his class. From there, his DIY offerings expanded to include K-2 pupils, touching on a wide range of topics — from ABCs to counting to reading the temperature. His channel: Harry Kindergarten/YouTube

“911! (Fire Safety For Kids)” doesn’t have the catchiest of tunes for adults – it is a children’s song, after all – but it certainly resonates with youngsters Chloe’s age:

“I am so proud of her,” said Ward, who plans on giving the resourceful youngster a police commendation. “It’s very encouraging to see someone that young use her head and take action. She was scared, but she kept her wits about her.

“That’s the definition of courage — when you’re scared and you still do what needs to be done.”

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