TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A school resource deputy is being recognized for his life-saving actions after a student collapsed at a high school in Florida.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said the teen was seen breathing irregularly before he collapsed to the ground in an outdoor area on the campus of Wharton High School in Tampa on Aug. 17. School staffers were flagged down by another student who alerted them to the unresponsive teen.
“He didn’t really show any signs of being responsive other than some weird breathing,” said Master Deputy William Mellana, the school resource deputy at Wharton High School.
Wharton’s school nurse, Alicia Robertson, was already helping the student when Deputy Mellana arrived.
“I called for him and he was on the scene immediately, helping me, really ultimately taking over and assisting me,” said Robertson.
After calling for EMA, Deputy Mellana went to get the AED to help the student, he told WFLA.
“We got it there quick, we attached it, it advised we should shock him which made it real, and then [we] started giving CPR. We gave him CPR until EMS showed up,” added Deputy Mellana.
The sheriff’s office released tense body-camera video that shows the situation unfold.
The teenager was eventually stabilized, and paramedics arrived and transported him to the hospital. He has since recovered and been released.
“There is no better reward in doing our jobs than being able to help someone and especially save someone’s life,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “Deputy Mellana’s actions are a shining example of the heroism and composure under pressure that law enforcement officers must display every day. 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.”
Deputy Mellana told WFLA he was just doing his job and assisting those who were already there helping.
“The nurse (Alicia Robertson) did most of the work,” said Deputy Mellana. “She did everything, 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.”