An Alabama school resource officer jumped into action during a school basketball game earlier this month when a mother frantically approached him with her choking baby, WHNT-TV reported. The officer wasted no time performing lifesaving measures to revive the child.
Jonathon Bearden, a school resource officer for Albertville High School, was praised as a hero by the school and his community after he saved a choking baby during a Marshall County Middle School basketball tournament.
The SRO told WHNT, “I’ve done adult and senior CPR, but not on a kid … that was a first.”
Bearden, a police officer and father, explained that during a middle school game, a woman approached him while holding out her baby and stated that the child was not breathing. Relying on his instincts, he began performing CPR on the child.
“I look up and a lady is just running from the bleachers, holding her baby out in front of her,” Bearden said. “She’s saying, ‘He’s not breathing, he’s not breathing.’ I don’t know if dad mode … cop mode … first responder mode kicked in, but I took him from her and flipped him over, started some back blows, tilted him down.”
Bearden was relieved when the child let out a cough and started crying.
“I heard a little cough, and then he started crying, and I said ‘if we’re crying, we’re breathing!'” Bearden stated.
“The police and our fire guys — we co-train and do joint training together as far as CPR, first aid, and other things like that,” he added. “I think as a dad you kind of, in your mind, know that you might have to do it … so I just did what I was trained to do.”
Since the incident, the baby has been sent home from the hospital and is doing well, Bearden stated.
He noted that SROs play an essential role in school environments.
“I think the role we play in the school environment is crucial,” Bearden stated. “I think what we do every day is almost as important as, maybe CPR, or anything. I don’t like the spotlight. Some people have called me and said you’re my hero … and I’m like no, man.”
“I’m just trying to shine a good light on the police and what we do every day,” he added.
Albertville High School Principal Jordan Phillips told WHNT that the school is lucky to have Bearden.
“I’ve known Officer Bearden for the last 20 years,” Phillips said. “He was a former student of mine at Crossville High School when I taught there. I’m just proud of the guy and everything he does for our school. It just shows you how education is so small as a community. We’ve come full circle to where he was my student and now we work together.”
“I think it shows what the job is really about,” Phillips continued. “Police sometimes get a bad rep and unrightfully so, and those guys are here to serve and protect. Officer Bearden showed that.”
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