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Hernando County deputy helps save choking teen at high school

Posted at 10:58 PM, Sep 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-23 23:20:35-04

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. -- Quick thinking and quick action helped save a choking teen in Hernando County Friday.

According to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Glen Hickey was notified of a 16-year-old choking in a nearby classroom at Central High School.

A teacher said students had just returned from lunch and were only about 10 minutes into class when she noticed the student was in distress.

"You could see that he was struggling to take a breath, more shortness of breath," said Kelly Byrne, the school health professional.

Byrne said when she arrived, the student was sitting in his seat with his hands raised. At first, the student was able to talk with them.

"I ended up hitting him, thrusting him between the shoulder blades and wasn’t able to get anything out from there," she said.

Moments later, the school resource officer, Deputy Hickey, arrived.

"When I was trying to talk to him, it was like he wanted to say something but couldn’t. His breathing was very, very, very labored. You could see he was struggling to breathe," said Hickey.

So for the first time, Hickey said he performed the Heimlich maneuver and then felt the student breathing again.

"I knew he was out of the danger zone, I knew as long as he was exchanging oxygen, he was in good shape at least for the time being," he said.

The skill is one Hickey believes everyone should know. Just a few days earlier at Eastside Elementary School, another school resource officer, Deputy Christopher Downey, helped save a choking toddler.

RELATED: 'Thank goodness for this man:' Hernando County SRO saves life of choking boy at school

"The bottom line is that’s our job that’s why we’re here," Hickey said.

Hickey said once EMS arrived, the student was taken to a hospital for treatment. He said the teen is OK.