School police officer applies the Heimlich maneuver on a chocking student
On Wednesday, February 23, around 11:35 a.m., RIPTB school police officer Isabelle Giguère was monitoring the situation in the cafeteria of Polyvalente Sainte-Thérèse at the start of lunch hour. More than 1500 students were seated at the time, when a young Secondary 2 student stood up and looked at the policewoman who was nearby, panicked, holding his neck with his hands, he tried to cough, but the air was not passing through. He was literally suffocating.
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“That’s when I quickly realized that I had to start the proper ant-chocking maneuvers, his life was in danger”, explains Isabelle Giguère. “I immediately started the Heimlich maneuver which consists of abdominal compressions”. This quick emergency first aid procedure is used to treat choking due to obstruction of the upper airway by a foreign body, usually food or a toy. “I did about 10 quick compressions and finally the food came down to let the air out, I helped him sit back down, we hugged, and I made sure he was ok. At the time you don’t realize what is happening, it was only after the youngster and the parents contacted me to thank me, being very grateful to have saved the life of their 14-year-old son that I realized.” said Giguère
Isabelle Giguère has been a police officer for more than 25 years, throughout her career, this is the third time that she has helped save a life. A school police officer for 15 years, this is the first time she has had to react so quickly.
The staff of the RIPTB highlighted with great gratitude the excellence of the work accomplished by officer Isabelle Giguère. According to their statement, the role of police work goes far beyond the application of laws and regulations. They consider themselves community partners.