Dickson Sro’S Heroic Heimlich Saves Choking Child: A Tribute 2024

Second Dickson SRO Earns Praise for Heimlich Maneuver Heroics

Second Dickson SRO Earns Praise for Heimlich Maneuver Heroics

Lt. Jessica Blackwell of the Dickson Police Department’s Special Services Division reports that SRO Jamie Patterson was able to dislodge a fruit candy from a fifth-grader’s throat after noticing he was in distress in the cafeteria at Oakmont Elementary School on Wednesday, May 15.

Swift Intervention Saves the Day

Patterson, who was preparing for the school’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) graduation at the time, was alerted to the situation by student Bryson Bagwell and cafeteria monitor Teresa Shelton.

“Bryson seemed to be in a panic and was putting his hands around his neck,” Patterson reported. “Mrs. Teresa asked him if he was OK, but he continued to act panicked and wave his hands, not speaking.”

Recognizing the signs of choking, Patterson immediately struck Bryson several times in his upper back, but was unsuccessful in dislodging the object. He then began performing the Heimlich maneuver, which eventually allowed the student to breathe and speak.

Student Recounts the Incident

“Bryson started to tell me that he was seeing white lights,” Patterson recalled. “I had him sit down and gave him a drink from the table, as he was still coughing some.”

The officer contacted School Nurse Penny Arnold, who checked on Bryson and confirmed that he had coughed up a small piece of a Gusher candy.

A Dedicated Officer and Mentor

Patterson joined the Dickson Police Department in December 2018, bringing with him experience as a School Resource Officer and DARE instructor with the Erin Police Department in Houston County. He was assigned as an SRO when the city committed to having an officer in all six county schools located within the city limits starting in January 2019.

“We are so grateful that one of our SROs was once again present and equipped to use their training to help a student who faced a life-threatening situation,” said Blackwell, who directed the SRO program and was one of the city’s first School Resource Officers.

Commitment to Student Safety

The Dickson Police Department provides nine SROs for the six public schools located in the city: Centennial Elementary School, Dickson Elementary School, Oakmont Elementary School, The Discovery School, Dickson Middle School, and Dickson County High School.

“Our SROs play a vital role in enhancing student safety and providing a positive, supportive learning environment,” said Dickson Police Chief Jeff Ledbetter. “Their presence in our schools is a reflection of our commitment to the well-being of our youth.”