Boy saves brother with skills learned at first responder camp
Zimori Hall had just completed a one-week "911 Jr. First Responder Camp" where he learned the basics of first aid, CPR training and the Heimlich Maneuver
By Michelle Iracheta
THE WOODLANDS, Texas — When 12-year-old Zimori Hall saw his little brother choking and gasping for air, he immediately sprang into action using his newly acquired life-saving training to save his brother's life.
The Knox Junior High School student had just completed a one-week "911 Jr. First Responder Camp" where he learned the basics of first aid, CPR training and the Heimlich Maneuver, a technique his mother, Stacy Green, credits with saving the life of her 4-year-old son Dexton.
Zimori was awarded the 2017 Kid Hero Award at the Texas Public Safety conference in April in Galveston for saving his little brother's life after he began struggling for air after swallowing a blue gummy fruit snack.
Green recalls the incident, which occurred last July following a first responder camp for eighth and ninth-graders taught by officials from the Montgomery County Hospital District in conjunction with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and Montgomery County Emergency Communications District 911.
"We were all in the kitchen and then my daughters yelled, 'Oh my God, he's choking,'" Green recalled. "Stupid me. I put my finger down his throat. My husband tried the same thing and it made it worse. It was bad. He couldn't breathe. He was turning white, and his lips were blue. I didn't know what else to do but call 911."
That's when Zimori came "running in there," his mother said, adding that the whole incident lasted probably about two minutes.
"The best part of the story was that (Zimori) kept his composure while everyone was freaking out," Green said. "(Zimori) puts Dexton on his knee and does the child Heimlich maneuver. He could hear all the chaos going on and he just picked him up and grabbed him. He reacted. That's exactly what he did when Dexton was choking. He reacted."
It took several seconds, Green said, but the gummy candy eventually "came flying out of (Dexton's) throat."
"He could breathe again" Green said. "I've never had a scare like that in my life with any of my five children."
Green credits the first responder summer camp for helping Zimori learn the proper technique for responding to a choking incident.
"I was totally amazed," Green said. "I just wanted (the organizers) to know that the first responders camp is actually helpful."
Andrea Wilson, a MCECD911 public education coordinator, said Zimori and Dexton's story is the reason the camp was set up in the first place.
"You put something on in hopes that it will become useful to the kids who attend," Wilson said. "To hear a story about a kid who applied what he learned, makes us proud."
Wilson said Montgomery County public safety agencies are preparing for the upcoming 911 First Junior First Responder camp scheduled for June 11- 15. Those interested should register at www.mc911.org, but space is limited to 25 participants.
As for Zimori, Wilson said he's on his way to continuing to learn more life-saving techniques.
"He's already registered to come again this summer," she said.