Some months ago, special education paraeducator Christopher McAllister found himself in the Central Middle School cafeteria.
It was an otherwise typical Tuesday in late September. McAllister, an 11-year employee of the County Office of Education, worked at the school with students wh have orthopedic needs.
On this day, McAllister heard one student choking.
McAllister, a special education paraeducator employed by the San Mateo County Office of Education, received special recognition and Employee of the Monthhonors at the November 16th County Board of Education meeting for his quick thinking action that resulted in saving a student’s life.
”He immediately jumped to action,” said school officials in a press release. “He ran to the student and pulled her wheelchair away from the table while another staff member called 911.”
Reports say the student began to turn blue and appeared moments from losing consciousness.
McAllister – relying on instincts and training - locked the brakes of the girl’s wheelchair, lifted her out of the wheelchair and performed the Heimlich maneuver.
He had saved the child’s life.
“Without Mr. McAllister’s immediate and effective response, the student might not have survived.,” said teacher Micki Gaitan.
On November 16, McAlister was rewarded with an Employee of the Month certificate. The award was for his quick reaction and response to the crisis. McAllister, however, says he just did what he does everyday: help students in need.
“Mr. McAllister’s dedication and courage inspires us to remember the many classroom heroes whose daily impact on the lives of San Mateo County students is profound,” said school officials.