PARSONS, Kan. — Quick thinking by a Parsons Middle School teacher saves a student’s life.
A minute before the school day started Wednesday of last week, Joe Campmier was still on hall supervision when he noticed seventh-grader Ethan Brown waving his hands.
“I went onside with my hands like this so that he knew that I was choking,” said Ethan Brown, Parsons Middle School 7th Grader.
Brown was talking, and laughing with his friends and accidentally swallowed a gumball whole.
“Natural instinct kicked in the first thing I did was yell for help because that’s the first thing you’re usually taught to do and thank God that Jessica Laforge and John Womeldorff the choir teacher were both there to act quick. One called the nurse, and Jessica came down and checked on us and wrangled both of our classes,” said Joe Campmier, Parsons Middle School Teacher.
In seconds Campmeir rushed to Brown and immediately performed the Heimlich maneuver.
“I’m very grateful for him to assist me that fast, and he’s my favorite teacher and always has been,” said Brown.
Campmier says Brown’s parents and grandparents reached out to him immediately to express how grateful they are for him.
“His parents showed me a lot of gratitude. They were messaging me back and forth. His grandparents, I believe, even reached out to my parents and expressed their gratitude to them. He was messaged me on Facebook and he was just extremely grateful,” said Campmier.
Campmier hasn’t had first aid training since he was in the U.S. Air Force, but says that training was frequent and so well ingrained, that 12 years later he knew how to respond in a moment of crisis.
“You never know how you’re going to react, that you’ve got one choice and it’s to react. I mean, we’re here for the safety and well-being of these kids,” said Campmier.
“His ability to stay regulated in that moment and really focus on the student’s needs, and he didn’t panic. You know we get put in those situations you know it’s fight, flight, or freeze he chose to act,” said Tyler Gordon, Parsons Middle School Lead Principal.
“I feel a lot safer now because Mr. Campmier helped me super fast. And I’m very grateful that he is working here,” said Brown.