How the Heimlich Maneuver Saved a Student’s Life


Isabella Kohn, Writer

Cypress Ranch High school Officer Tina Brewster, saved a freshman from choking on Tuesday, September 21. The incident occurred during B lunch, where student Reese Morris hurriedly approached officer Tina Brewster and associate principal Sheila Garcia with her hand on her throat, expressing she couldn’t breathe. Having been taught the Heimlich maneuver, officer Brewster took immediate action to aid Morris. 

The Heimlich maneuver is a very delicate process that consists of pushing the diaphragm repeatedly in an attempt to create what is referred to as an “artificial cough”. It is the repeated pushing of the diaphragm that eventually pushes out the artifact that has caused the choking.

Officer Brewer allegedly attempted the Heimlich three to four times until the student was able to breathe properly.

“The whole time I was doing it, I was thinking, am I doing this right? Is she gonna live? And then when I heard her coughing I knew she was okay,” Officer Brewster says.

Evidently, both Officer Brewster and Associate Principal Garcia were trained on Heimlich but never had to attempt the maneuver on a real person. 

“It scared me because, you know, we train for stuff and we are CPR certified but you never train the Heimlich maneuver. They explain to you how to do it but you don’t actually physically do that to anybody,” Brewster says. 

Associate Principal Garcia witnessed the whole occurrence and sent out an email to fellow staff claiming Tina Brewster as a hero. She simultaneously encouraged the staff to be aware of the importance of what she refers to as “live-saving mechanics” which includes the Heimlich. 

“We encourage everybody, that’s why we’re always out here watching, safety’s number one,” says Garcia. “So, in that instance, it just proves why we’re out here every day, making sure that kids are safe.”