SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – In May of last year the quick thinking and calm actions of Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Fertal helped save a young lady’s life.

“It was just a normal day until we got a medical call for a student that was choking and unresponsive,” said Deputy Fertal.

He was filling in as a school resource officer at C.E. Byrd High School when it happen. According to Fertal, a 17-year-old student was lying on the floor, unresponsive, and not breathing. Students told Fertal the girl had been choking on some food, and attempts made to dislodge it by some students and a teacher were unsuccessful.

Fertal says that’s when his training kicked in.

“I was really nervous when she wasn’t breathing and I knew I had to do something,” said Deputy Fertal. “So I did the chest compressions and it was a big sigh of relief when she actually started breathing. “

Fertal is assigned to the office’s patrol division, but on this day he was ready for anything.

“You never know what you’re going to come across,” he said. “And I’m just happy that I was there to help.”

For his life-saving efforts, he was recently recognized by the sheriff’s office.

A teacher who witnessed the entire incident said had Deputy Fertal not been there, there is no doubt the student would have died.