Long Island school bus driver hailed as hero after saving choking student

RIVERHEAD, Long Island (WABC) -- A Suffolk County bus driver is being hailed as a hero after saving a student from choking on Friday.

Martin Doelger, a bus driver with the Riverhead Central School District, saved the life of a Riverhead Middle School sixth grader by administering the Heimlich maneuver.

Doelger will be honored for his quick thinking by the district's board of education meeting on Tuesday.

A humble Doelger said he just did what he had to do.

"I'm just glad it worked out, and she is OK," he said.

The incident occurred as the sixth graders filed onto Doelger's bus after school.

Almost all students had boarded when one approached him with a horrified look on her face.

Doelger said he quickly realized that she was choking on a doughnut, so he used the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the food and called out to a teacher to get help.

This was the first time Doelger said he has ever used the Heimlich maneuver, which he learned while taking CPR classes through his previous employer.

"We are so grateful for the quick action that Martin took," Superintendent Dr. Aurelia Henriquez said. "He truly deserves to be recognized."

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