A Deputy Sheriff’s heroic actions helped save a student’s life in the middle of a medical emergency on the campus of Wharton High School in Tampa.
Just before 3 p.m. on August 17, 2021, School Resource Deputy William Mellana of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a student who had passed out while walking on campus due to what appeared to be a medical episode. He was breathing irregularly and unresponsive.
A fellow student, who noticed the teen suddenly fall forward, stopped to help and alerted school staff. Deputy Mellana rushed to the area, where he found the student lying on his back and surrounded by the school nurse and multiple school employees.
In addition to requesting the assistance of EMS, Deputy Mellana used his Sheriff’s Office training to deliver an AED shock to the student’s chest, followed by several minutes of administering CPR until Tampa Fire Rescue arrived at the school.
The student was transported to the AdventHealth Wesley Chapel Hospital, where he received additional treatment. The student has since been released from the hospital.
He is now recovering and undergoing further medical evaluations. His mother expressed her gratitude to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and Hillsborough County Public Schools for the quick actions that aided in keeping her son alive.
“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,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “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.”
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