Officer revives student who collapsed; saves choking baby on his way home from work

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School Resource Officer Matt Schuman and Principal Tim Lowe and Assistant Principal Sheri Fisher. Image courtesy Washington County School District.

School Resource Officer Matt Schuman and Principal Tim Lowe and Assistant Principal Sheri Fisher. Image courtesy Washington County School District.

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah — A school resource officer in southern Utah is credited with saving two lives in a single day after he went above and beyond to provide aid to a student at his school and then later to a baby he chanced upon while returning home from work.

According to a press release from the Washington County School District, things began around 2 p.m. Tuesday when a student at Dixie Middle School reported to her gym teacher she wasn’t feeling well.

The teacher sent the student to the front office/nurse’s room to call her parents, and School Resource Officer Matt Schuman waited with her. During that time, the student displayed flu-like symptoms and vomited. When her father arrived and spoke to administration, the student collapsed, falling to her knees. After the student rested, her father said he would take her to Instacare, as he felt she was just experiencing severe flu symptoms.

However, the release states, “Officer Schuman was not convinced and felt that something more was wrong. He directed that he would call for an ambulance after checking again on the student’s symptoms. The student’s parents agreed.”

The girl’s father moved to put the student’s belongings in his truck, which is when the student collapsed. Officer Schuman caught her before she hit the ground, and the student then had a seizure.

After the seizure, the student went into cardiac arrest and did not have a pulse and was not breathing. Schuman and a local parent who was at the school for unrelated reasons, Denim Lyman, began CPR on the student, and eventually Schuman revived the student.

A short time later, the student again went into cardiac arrest and Schuman continued CPR until EMTs arrived at the scene. Responders used a defibrillator to obtain a pulse, and the student was taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center and then flown to Las Vegas via LifeFlight.

The release from the school district states: “It is due to the heroic efforts and proficient training that we “Thank” Officer Schuman for his quick thinking and fast response. We appreciate our partnership with the SROs in Washington County School District and thank the local police agencies for their unfailing dedication in keeping our students and staff safe within boundaries of our learning environments. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to officer Schumann for his outstanding performance.”

But, that wasn’t the only heroic act Schuman would engage in Tuesday. The press release states that later in the day Schuman was heading home after working at a school wrestling match when he heard a dispatch call regarding a 9-day-old infant who was choking.

Schuman recognized he was only a few homes away from the scene, so he responded to the call and began working to remove the obstruction from the child’s airway. The release states, “He was successful in saving this child’s life as EMTs arrived and continued care.”

The press release states Schuman has been working with the school district since the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, and prior to that he served with St. George Police Department for 10 years, five of which was with the department’s drug task force.

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