Quick-thinking security monitor saves choking child's life during lunch at school

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, May 2, 2023
Quick-thinking security monitor saves child's life at school
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Tyreek Johnson saved a choking student's life during lunch at Vails Gate STEAM Academy on April 20. Marcus Solis has the story.

NEW WINDSOR, New York (WABC) -- A quick-thinking security monitor in New Windsor helped save a student who was choking while eating lunch.

The scary situation unfolded at Vails Gate STEAM Academy on April 20.

Tyreek Johnson noticed second-grader Zandaya McNair was in trouble while she was eating lunch in the cafeteria.

Johnson saw McNair give the universal sign for choking and jumped into action.

"I patted her back a couple times and I noticed she could not breathe, and after that I performed the Heimlich," Johnson said.

A couple of thrusts cleared the tortilla chip causing the obstruction. The student was checked out by the nurse and was OK.

"We're so proud of him, Mr. Johnson is a product of the Newburgh and city school district, he went to school in this district and we're just so glad he gets to serve the community in this capacity," said Principal Ciria Briscoe-Perez.

Johnson's actions were the direct result of his training. All security staff in the district are first aid and CPR certified.

"I was very nervous, it was a tough situation and a scary situation, but I couldn't let that overcome saving Zandaya's life," Johnson said.

The school presented Johnson with a certificate for his heroic actions to show its appreciation.

"I say thank you Mr. Johnson," McNair said.

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