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Custodian saves school money and student from choking

March 25, 2009
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SALEM, OR — The head custodian at Kennedy Elementary School has saved the school money, paper products and now a students'' life, according to the Statesman Journal.
David DeMastus, a 14-year veteran with the Salem-Keizer School District, successfully performed the Heimlich maneuver on third-grader Ernesto Lua Diaz after the student began choking on a piece of hamburger, the story stated.
DeMastus said: "I pulled the Heimlich maneuver on him, and the first time I did it, I did it real soft because he''s a little third-grader. It didn''t work, so the next time, I gave him the full thing, and up comes a piece of hamburger."
According to the story, DeMastus was awarded the Bob Wickman Life Saving Award for the act of heroism by the Keizer Fire District.
On top of saving lives, DeMastus also saved the school hundreds of dollars by fixing a large piece of playground that was too rickety and was to be scrapped; he fixed it with $3 worth of bolts, the story noted.
DeMastus saved the school paper by changing paper towel dispensers from those with a crank to those with a knob; he enacted the change based on an experiment he did in the restrooms, placing a pump and crank paper towel dispenser side by side in the boys and girls bathrooms and noticed all of the paper towel dispensers with cranks were empty while the pump dispensers still held half a roll, the story added.
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