Richland County (S.C.) Sheriff Leon Lott recognized Dent Middle School Resource Officer (SRO) Donna Tucker on Wednesday for her quick actions that helped save a student's life, the agency announced.

Last month, a sixth grader suffered a severe asthma attack near the end of the school day. As school officials waited for EMS to arrive, he stopped breathing. Deputy Tucker and Nursing Assistant Schonna Keasler immediately began administering CPR on the student until he began breathing on his own. The boy was rushed to Providence Northeast Hospital where he received treatment and recovered. After a restful winter break, he returned to school with his fellow classmates on Jan. 3.

"There is no question that Deputy Tucker's actions helped save this student’s life. We are grateful to have her as part of our team," said Dent Middle Principal Dr. Randall Gary.

In his remarks, Sheriff Lott noted that Deputy Tucker was a natural fit for the job."It takes a special kind of person to be an SRO. You have to know how and when to be kind, understanding and tough with the kids," Lott said. "She's been on the job less than a year, and here she is already saving someone's life."

This is also the deputy's first year with the sheriff's department. She is a graduate of the sheriff's department's Citizen Police Academy, 14-week program designed to give citizens an overview of the department's structure, services and personnel, as well as help them become a liaison or ambassador of the department. She was honored with a medal during the quarterly Pro ACT (Accountability Coordination and Teamwork) meeting when supervisors meet to share ideas, information, trends and solutions.

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