Newburgh school security monitor credits first aid training with helping him save choking student

On April 20, Tyreek Johnson performed the Heimlich maneuver on student Zendaya McNair after seeing her choke on her nachos during lunch.

News 12 Staff

May 2, 2023, 9:15 PM

Updated 350 days ago

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The Newburgh school security monitor who saved a choking student at Vails Gate Stream Academy says his first aid training made him prepared to help the second grader.
On April 20, Tyreek Johnson performed the Heimlich maneuver on student Zendaya McNair after seeing her choke on her nachos during lunch.
"I gave her about two or three thrusts,” he said. “I had to keep my cool, even though I was very nervous and I'm pretty sure she was scared as well. But I had to keep my composure. I had to remember my training.”
Johnson says all security monitors in the Newburgh school district are trained in first aid and CPR certified.
"It makes me more aware. It makes me more vigilant whenever I'm in a cafeteria or I'm interacting with kids throughout the building,” he said.
McNair’s family are relieved their daughter is safe and grateful for Johnson’s quick action.


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