CI Hero: Dunlap history teacher saves student from choking using Heimlich Maneuver

CI Heroes

DUNLAP, Ill. (WMBD) — A Dunlap High School teacher’s swift action led to a student breathing again.

As an educator for more than three decades, with 12 of those years at Dunlap High School Ed Tallon teaches social studies and the importance of history.

Moments before Mr. Tallon began a lesson in early October, a piece of candy lodged itself in a student’s airway.

“The students in your class, they’re your students,” said Mr. Tallon. “You really feel responsible for them, not only when they’re inside your class, but outside of it.”

Thinking quickly, Mr. Tallon said he immediately started to perform the Heimlich Maneuver.

“You could tell she was in distress. She was getting nervous. I did the five compressions on the back to start and then did the compressions on the stomach and luckily when I was doing to stomach ones it was dislodged.”

ed tallon | social studies teacher | dunlap high school

The high school’s principal said the district participates in yearly mandated training. He said Tallon’s instantaneous act likely saved the student’s life.

“You hope that in the moment, the people have the courage to do the right thing and then have the ability to execute it,” said Principal Dr. Scott Adreon. “Certainly Mr. Tallon had both of those. The courage and the ability to make the most of that situation.”

“Just to know that she was okay and everything, you know, turned out fine was just a great feeling,” said Mr. Tallon.

Dr. Adreon said Tallon’s act proves his dedication to student success and wellbeing.

“He has a huge heart,” said Dr. Adreon. “I think the last thing he wants is the limelight or notoriety for anything he does, but I think he’s always the first one to step up to help somebody in need.”

The American Red Cross provides courses both in-person and online for first aid and CPR trainings.

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