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Custodian Saves Choking Student

February 23, 2021

Many school custodians go beyond cleaning and consider the safety of students part of their responsibility. In November, a Utah custodian saved a choking child and this month an Ohio custodian also stepped in to save a student. Journal News reports that the lead custodian at Amanda Elementary located in Middleton, Ohio, performed the Heimlich maneuver on a fifth grade student choking on a cheese stick.

Kim Deaton, lead custodian, said that a fifth grade student ran to her for help as Cole Hanson Oliver, her classmate, was choking on his lunch. Deaton quickly gave Oliver the Heimlich maneuver a couple times until the boy stopped choking.

Deaton told WLWT-TV that “it was scary, very scary” but her emergency medical team (EMT) training kicked in. Deaton, a former EMT worker, said “I’m going to attribute this to how you never forget.”

Amanda Elementary Principal Beth Hendricks described Deaton as “a dynamic superhero,” adding “she has my kids (students) at heart and she makes sure all their needs are taken care of.”

“These kids might be somebody else’s kids, but for eight hours a day, they’re mine, and it’s my job to protect them,” Deaton told WLWT. “The outpouring of love has been so overwhelming. I cry a lot, but I’m thankful. I’m thankful to be at the right place at the right time.”

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