Dramatic video shows deputy use defibrillator to save student who collapsed at Tampa school

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A school resource deputy is being recognized for his life-saving actions after a student collapsed at Wharton High School in Tampa.

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 on Aug. 17. School staff was 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 Alicia Robertson, Wharton High School’s nurse.

After calling for EMA, Deputy Mellana tells 8 On Your Side he went to get the AED to help the student.

“We got it there quick, we attached it, it advised we should shock him which made it real and then 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 AdventHealth Wesley Chapel. He has since recovered and was released from the hospital.

“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.”

Deputy Mellana told 8 On Your Side he was just doing his job and assisting those who were already there helping.

“The nurse (Alicia Robertson) did most of the work, 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,” said Deputy Mellana.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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