Copley police officer hailed a hero for saving choking boy in school cafeteria

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COPLEY, Ohio (WJW) — A local police officer is being called a hero for saving the life of a middle school student who was choking.

Officer Ben Campbell with the Copley Police Department is normally a resource officer at Copley High School. However, Campbell was asked to fill in at the middle school Monday morning.

“It was about 11 o’clock, I went down to the middle school and walked the hall. I saw it was lunch time in the the cafeteria and the students were there.  o, I popped my head in to see the kids,” said Campbell.

That’s when Campbell, a 20-year veteran of the department, noticed one of the students jump up and start coughing.

“And then he did universal motion that he was choking and he just comes running to me,” said Campbell.

Campbell says his first aid training kicked in and he started performing the Heimlich maneuver along with back thrusts to the boy’s upper back until something popped out.

“The boy started crying. I felt like crying but I had to be cool. We sat him down, he was okay at this point,” said Campbell.

Campbell says paramedics arrived shortly after and checked out the boy, who will be just fine.

“He was choking on a cheese stick.  I told him afterwards to take smaller portions and chew your food at least 20 times,” said Campbell.

On Tuesday, the district awarded Campbell a certificate of bravery and heroism.

He also got to meet the student’s father.

“We met privately. He came up to me, we tried to do the manly meet but we both had tears in our eyes,” said Campbell.

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