WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Bethesda Elementary School first grader is alive today, thanks to an alert Williamson County SRO who saw the child choking and immediately rendered life-saving aid.
It happened Tuesday while Dallas Tomlin was eating lunch in the school’s cafeteria around 11:30 a.m.
News 2 spoke with Dallas, who was wearing a big smile as he talked about how Officer Kevin Teague saved his life.
At the time, Dallas said he was eating a chicken sandwich when he began choking.
Now, three days later after the terrifying incident, the little boy told News 2 he is feeling “good.”
Officer Kevin, who has been a lawman for 28 years, said there were hundreds of children in the noisy cafeteria at the time, but he somehow spotted Dallas in distress.
“I don’t know what made me look over there. I just did and it caught my attention. When I approached him I asked if he was choking and he could not talk, he could not breathe. He had a panicked look on his face. I don’t know how long he had been choking before I saw him, so he was very panicked,” Officer Kevin said.
He continued, “I raised his arms up above his head and did a modified Heimlich maneuver on a small child and from the third thrust there was three pieces of fairly large chicken dislodged from his throat.”
Officer Kevin, a father of three, said he was nervous, but is happy he was in the right place at the right time.
“Absolutely you’re nervous, but it doesn’t kick in until after the fact,” he said. “I’m very grateful I was able to restore his breathing and potentially saved his life. I love all these kids here.”
To recognize his quick thinking and heroic action, Capt. Mark Wainwright, present Teague with a letter of commendation written by Williamson County Sheriff Jeff Long.
“Your heroism and dedication are certainly recognized – that is a great representation of this department and I congratulate you on a job well done,” Capt. Wainwright said.
Right after the incident, Dallas went to the nurse’s office where he checked out as good as new.
SROs were added to Williamson County elementary schools in 2013 after the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 students were shot.