BOSSIER PARISH, Louisiana (KTAL/KSHV) – On Thursday, September 16th a harrowing moment unfolded at Benton Middle School.
“I walked towards him. He walked towards me,” said Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Johnston, who is the School Resource Officer at Benton Middle.
The two locked eyes. The child was choking and seeking help.
“I asked him, ‘Are you choking?’ and he shakes his head yes,” added Johnston.
That child turned to the right person.
Instantly Deputy Johnston sprung into action, taking the student into the hallway and performing the Heimlich maneuver.
“On the first time, I hear a big ump, and a big piece of corn dog fell right out,” he said. “Fell right into a trash can.”
The student was checked out by the school nurse. He was uninjured, and he went about his day. So did Deputy Johnston. If he seems rather nonchalant about his heroic actions, there’s a reason.
“I have done that two other times. So I was used to doing it,” he said.
Eight years ago he saved a little girl’s life at school. Five years ago it was a little boy that he saved. All were choking.
“I was very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. And have the training that I do from the sheriff’s office,” said Johnston. “And good things happened, and I was very happy with that.”
But why does it keep happening to him? As the old saying goes, luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
“I try to be as vigilant as I can in the school every day,” said Johnston. “Walking around as much as I can and being at every lunch shift if I possibly can. Just in case something like this does happen.”
Parish-wide this is the fourth time in recent years that an SRO has successfully assisted a student or staff member who was choking.