When a Hall County student began choking during lunch, a deputy was there to help

Deputy Zack Marley helped stop a Hall County student from choking Thursday afternoon.
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Deputy Zack Marley helped stop a Hall County student from choking Thursday afternoon.

Credit: Hall County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Hall County Sheriff's Office

Deputy Zack Marley often sits with West Hall High School students at lunchtime when he works as a school resource officer.

But the talk of the cafeteria Thursday wasn’t of pizza day or syllabuses — it was about Marley potentially saving a life.

At 12:10 p.m., teachers began calling Marley’s name after a 15-year-old girl began choking, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. A grape had lodged its way into her throat, and she was only able to point to her throat and nod her head when Marley asked her questions.

The deputy began performing CPR, starting with abdominal thrusts, which are also known as the Heimlich maneuver, the release said. After about six to eight thrusts, the student was able to speak again, telling Marley, “It’s out.”

Marley, who said it was the first time he had to perform the maneuver, said his training kicked in immediately.

RELATED: Hall County deputies escort son of slain colleague to first day of school

“It scared me because that is one of my students,” Marley said in the release. “I look at them as my own kids, so when I see one of them is in trouble, it startles me. I go into action on helping my kids. They’re not just students, they’re my kids.”

The student was examined by the school’s nurse, who determined she didn’t need any additional treatment, the release said.

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