Superintendent of Mariposa County Unified School District Robin Hopper, second from right, presents a recognition plaque to Mariposa County High School junior Jerry Cameron. A fellow student was choking at school and Cameron, who is enrolled in the Grizzly Fire program, performed a successful Heimlich maneuver on the student. On the left is board member Bob Collins, and on the right is instructor Al Brondolo.
Jerry Cameron is a big man on campus at Mariposa County High School.
The junior didn’t score 40 points in basketball or pin all of his opponents in wrestling.
What he did do is save the life of a fellow student recently by performing the Heimlich maneuver.
“At first I didn’t think he was choking, but then after I asked him and he gave me the choking signal I kind of figured I needed to do something,” said Cameron last Friday.
“I went over there and gave him the Heimlich maneuver.
“I was really nervous I wasn’t going to do it right. But I did it perfect and it worked out to my advantage,” said Cameron.
“I felt really good about it. I did something good for a change. It just keeps getting better and better,” Cameron said.
It took three thrusts to expel the piece of pancake from the student’s throat, said Grizzly Fire program teacher Al Brondolo. “There was a good likelihood we would have had a very bad outcome.
“It ‘s hard to find adults who are able to react and make those split-second decisions, and here’s this young man, he’s very quiet in class, a hard worker, first time ever learning CPR and emergency medicine, he reacted and he did what hopefully most people would do that have the training,” said Brondolo.
He said there was a good chance Cameron saved the student’s life, or at least saved him from having brain damage due to lack of oxygen.
“I’m very proud of him. These are things that don’t happen very often,” said Brondolo. “I’m very proud of all the kids.”
The Grizzly Fire program and the Emergency Medical Responder class currently have about 60 students between them.
Superintendent Robin Hopper, along with board member Bob Collins, presented Cameron with a recognition plaque.
Hopper spoke to the Grizzly Fire program students during the recognition Feb. 19 for Cameron.
She told them she was proud of their hard work and dedication.