MONTVALE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey teen is alive thanks to the quick action of her school’s security officer who was in the right place at the right time.
Last Tuesday started out as an ordinary afternoon for Sarah Bazzini. The Pascack Hills High School senior was walking to class as she finished the last bites of her lunch whens he suddenly started choking on a french dry.
“I knew it was lodged in my throat, my drink which I had in my hand couldn’t get it down,” she said. “After a couple of seconds I slowly felt myself fading, to be honest with you.”
Bazzini said for several horrifying seconds she panicked before spotting her school’s special law enforcement officer, Roger Caron, walking toward her.
“I noticed Sarah didn’t seem right,” he said. “She was stumbling a bit, moving very quickly. The closer I got I realized her color was off and she ran up to me and started giving me the choke signal. At that point I knew exactly what was wrong.”
Surveillance video shows Caron immediately perform the heimlich maneuver to dislodge the french fry. You can see as he lifts the teen off her feet with each abdominal thrust. The security officer has been working at the school for three years, but he’s spent 34 years with the Woodcliff Lake Police Department.
Luckily he’s used to taking quick action, and the 18-year-old Bazzini is beyond grateful.
“There’s such a special bond with him now,” she said. ” He’s a hero.”
All the staff members and students at the school are trained in life-saving techniques but in this case, Officer Caron was the one in the right place at the right time.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to know you can help somebody and that’s what I took away from this,” he said.
Bazzini says the officer’s actions not only saved her life, but reaffirmed what she’s known since the fifth grade; she wants to be a police officer.