Virginia Beach teacher performs Heimlich on choking student

Virginia Beach teacher performs Heimlich on choking student

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — John Mingin is in his second week as a new third-grade teacher, but he’s being recognized for something he did last year at Alanton Elementary when he was a teacher’s assistant.

While his students are at PE, it’s time for our surprise with News 3 cameras rolling, we’re headed to his classroom, all coordinated with help from his principal Charlene Garran, “He deserves this great recognition…..he does not know we are all going to be joining, and I believe his whole team will be joining us as well.”

With cheerleading pom poms in hand, Garran and other staff members entered his room all smiles. Mingin, who is a humble person, processed all the commotion.

News 3

This week’s Every Day Hero is John Mingin.

I asked Mingin to take us back to last spring in the school cafeteria, “The emotions did not hit me until later in the afternoon when things calmed down and realized what had happened.”

Mingin recalls, standing in the cafeteria, he had lunch monitoring duty.

It was packed, but he spotted a student, sitting at a table. The 4th grade boy wasn’t facing his classmates at his table and Mingin knew something wasn’t right.

“I noticed a child who kinda looked a little off…so I asked him if he was ok, and he was shaking his head,” he said. “And he was trying to tell me, he was just trying to communicate to me he was choking. He couldn’t speak and I asked him can you breathe? And he just shook his head no. I told him to stand up. I was able to get him and put him in front of me and I just started to begin the Heimlich maneuver.”

Mingin demonstrated on me what he did.

“Then what you want to do is make sure that you have one of your legs in between their legs, just like this,” he explained. “I’m gonna put my arms around you like this, and ball up one fist….so I come around like this, and I squeeze and I’m squeezing in and up.”


News 3

This week’s Every Day Hero is John Mingin.

Mingin said he had to do the Heimlich three or four times before the student fully coughed up the food.

Alanton’s principal Charlene Garran is so proud. “He’s amazing! He’s amazing!”

Mingin recalls the student was checked out by the school nurse was fine, “Yeah he went back to class. Later that day, he actually presented me with a little award he made and said thank you for saving my life.”


News 3

This week’s Every Day Hero is John Mingin.

News 3 presented Mingin with an Everyday Hero award, along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner Southern Bank.

Mingin was very thankful and tells us he first learned the Heimlich 13 years ago when he was a personal trainer and recently had a refresher course with the school system.

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