School Resource Deputy saves student from choking

Deputy Saves Student's Life
Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 9:53 PM CDT
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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - School Resource Deputy Trenton VanCleve plays a pivotal role in keeping students safe at Seacoast Collegiate High School in Walton County.

“Most of the time the kids are just outside during class changes or during lunch,” Seacoast Collegiate High School Principal Scott O’Prey said. “He’s always right there.”

It’s the deputy’s second year on the school’s campus and he’s already well-liked by students and teachers.

“He’s got a great rapport with staff,” O’Prey said.

VanCleve is now being hailed as a hero for saving a student’s life.

Students were being dropped off at school Thursday morning when a student came up to him and told him another student was choking in the school yard.

VanCleve took the call to action.

“There was another teacher there attempting to perform the Heimlich maneuver on the child and was unsuccessful,” VanCleve said. “I took over. I gave two abdominal thrusts and was able to get the object out of her throat.”

That object was a cough drop.

VanCleve said the procedure itself only took seconds.

“It happened very fast,” the deputy said. “In the moment, I was just thinking someone needed help and I needed to get to them. It’s their responsibility to come to school and it’s mine to ensure their safety.”

He also sat with the student after the incident to make sure she was okay.

“The student was a little distraught so I sat down with her for a little while until she was able to calm down and I walked her to class,” VanCleve said.

NewsChannel 7 tried to schedule an interview with the student but we did not get a verbal response from her parents.