School resource officer saves 2 lives in 1 day

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ST. GEORGE — Student resource office Matt Schuman described it as just another day on the job.

The 10-year-veteran of the St. George Police Department is being praised as a hero after his busy day Wednesday, when he saved two lives during two separate incidents. The drama started at about 2 p.m. when a student at Dixie Middle School reported that she wasn't feeling well and left her gym class to go to the front office.

In his role as the school's resource officer, Schuman was in the office when the student arrived with flu-like symptoms, according to the Washington County School District. When the girl's father arrived, she collapsed to her knees.

"After resting for a moment her father responded that he would take her to Instacare and felt that her symptoms were just part of the flu that had been going around her family," a statement from the school district reads. "Officer Schuman was not convinced and felt that something more was wrong. He directed that he would call for an ambulance after checking again the student's symptoms. The student's parent agreed."

Great job, Officer Schuman!!

Posted by St. George (Utah) Police Department on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

However, before the ambulance arrived the student collapsed again. Schuman caught the girl before she hit the ground.

"She started to seize," Schuman told Good Morning America. "I turned her over on her side and my training immediately kicked in at that point."

During the seizure, the student went into cardiac arrest. She lost her pulse and stopped breathing, so Schuman started performing CPR. After two minutes, he was able to revive the girl but after regaining consciousness she went into cardiac arrest again, according to the school district. He continued CPR until EMT services arrived at the school.

The student was eventually transported to a local hospital and then flown to a Las Vegas hospital by medical helicopter. School officials and medical personnel credited Schuman's quick thinking for saving the student's life.

After the eventful afternoon, Schuman's day still wasn't over. He carried on with his normal schedule, working at a wrestling match for the district later that night. While he was on the way home, he heard about another medical emergency on the radio — a 9-day-old baby was choking at a home three houses away from his current location.

Schuman quickly responded to the home and started CPR. St. George police released an audio recording of the radio traffic Thursday. On it, Schuman calmly states that he has started CPR as dispatch reports that medical personnel are still a few blocks away.

"I got her to cry a little bit, which calmed me because as a parent myself I know if you're crying, you're breathing and that was a good sign," Schuman told Good Morning America.

By the time emergency technicians arrived, the baby had resumed breathing.

Schuman started working at Dixie Middle School at the beginning of the 2015 school year. Previously, he spent five years on the police department's drug task force.

Contributing: Dave McCann


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