High school student hailed as hero after performing Heimlich maneuver on classmate
A high school freshman calmly came to the rescue of a choking classmate.
— -- A high school freshman from Wisconsin has been hailed as a hero by his community after he performed the Heimlich maneuver on a fellow student who was choking on his lunch in their school's cafeteria.
Ian Brown from La Crosse, Wisconsin, quickly jumped into action when his schoolmate, Will Olson, began choking and motioning for help.
"We couldn't tell if Will was choking or if he was just laughing and coughing at the same time," Brown told ABC News. "Eventually what started to give it away was the redness in his face and then the hand motions to his neck."
Brown got up from his seat and performed the Heimlich maneuver four times on Olson until the food dislodged from Olson's throat.
"I feel thankful that I had Ian, a friend, there that had the training to do what he did," said Olson.
The incident was captured on surveillance video at Central High School. The video has garnered more than 80,000 views on Facebook after it was posted this week on the School District of La Crosse's Facebook page.
The La Crosse Police Department issued a statement applauding the "lifesaving actions" of Brown, who is a member of their police explorer program. The police department said that Brown learned how to perform the Heimlich maneuver as part of his training as a police explorer.
"I felt I was just doing what I was trained to do," Brown said. "I've wanted to be a police officer and that's what they trained me to do and that's what they told me to do."
Michael Belott, a firefighter with the Cedar Knolls Fire Department in Cedar Knolls, New Jersey, told "GMA" that he believes Brown's quick actions helped save Olson's life.
"This student jumps right in and starts a quick intervention with those abdominal thrusts and the Heimlich maneuver procedure and definitely saves this kid's life," Belott said. "We can all say he did an excellent job taking that initiative."
Choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional, accidental death, according to the National Safety Council. The Heimlich maneuver has been credited with saving more than 100,000 lives since the technique was created in 1974.
Belott shared a few simple steps that he says anyone can use to step in and help with the life-saving maneuver: Remain calm, keep composure, call 911, ensure that someone is choking, check if something is stuck in a person's airway that could be removed, and initiate five abdominal thrusts.
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