North Forney High School Senior Saves Choking Classmate With Heimlich Maneuver

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A regular day at lunch turned into a life-saving moment at North Forney High School. 

High School Senior Gustavo Rubio, Jr. performed the Heimlich maneuver on a choking classmate.

"A lot of people are like, ‘Oh you saved someone's life, you're a hero,’” North Forney High School Senior Gustavo Rubio, Jr. said. “I don't really believe that because, I don't know, I'm just a regular human being. I just did something what any other human being would do."

But Gustavo was the human being who jumped into action when a classmate started choking.

“I ran to him real quickly,” Rubio said. “I picked him up and I started to perform the Heimlich maneuver. Eventually, he would dislodge the item that was caught in his throat."

Rubio knew what to do from his training with the Rockwall Fire Department's Explorer Program that he's a part of. 

"He was telling me thank you so much for what you did,” Rubio said. “'You saved my life.' At this time, I didn't know what I did really because all I did was, it was action, it wasn't thought."

"I'm a proud dad,” his father Gustavo Rubio, Sr. said. “We are a proud family. The wife. The kids. Everybody that knows already believe me we are very proud."

Rubio already wanted to be a firefighter to help others.  Now that he's experienced it firsthand, he knows he's on the right path for what he is meant to do.

"I'm so happy that I learned them because it might be a simple skill but it's really important because it means either life or death," Rubio said.

Rubio has been accepted to Navarro College where he'll continue his education toward becoming a firefighter.

According to the National Safety Council Injury Facts, choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional injury death.

The American Red Cross advises everyone should learn basic life-saving measures like the Heimlich maneuver.

"You just never know when the person that is going to need help is someone you love and care for or if it's going to be someone you’re walking next to,” Brian Murnahan with the American Red Cross said.

“If you have those skills, you can make all the difference in the world because those minutes, those seconds count," Murnahan said.

The American Red Cross offers several first aid and basic life-saving courses. To learn more click here.

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