Florida school resource officer uses defibrillator to save student’s life

TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida resource officer and school nurse used a defibrillator and other lifesaving techniques to save a student’s life who collapsed on campus Tuesday.

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The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said a deputy sprang into action around 3 p.m. after a student at Wharton High School, who was breathing irregularly, collapsed, WFLA reported.

Alicia Robertson, the school nurse, was already aiding the student when Master Deputy William Mellana arrived to help.

“I called for him and he was on the scene immediately, helping me, really ultimately taking over and assisting me,” Robertson told WFLA.

Mellana called emergency medics and then grabbed a defibrillator for the 17-year-old student.

“Wake up baby! Wake up baby! Take a breath baby! Take a breath baby! There we go,” Robertson can be heard saying on body camera video of the incident.

“He didn’t really show any signs of being responsive other than some weird breathing,” Mellana told WFLA. “We got it there quick, we attached it. It advised we should shock him, which made it real and then started giving CPR. We gave him CPR until EMS showed up.”

The student was then taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he has since recovered and been released.

“Yeah, he’s back at school. He’s back at school like nothing happened,” Mellana told WFTS.

Mellana was lauded for his efforts.

“There is no better reward in doing our jobs than being able to help someone and especially save someone’s life. Deputy Mellana’s actions are a shining example of the heroism and composure under pressure that law enforcement officers must display every day,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “We are incredibly grateful that the first aid training each of our deputies receives was able to help this young man make it back home to his family.”

Mellana said he was not alone.

“The nurse did most of the work. She did everything,” he said. “She was there first. She responded well. She did what needed to be done, along with a few other people at the school who were super compassionate and quick to respond.”