Amsterdam teenager recognized for life-saving actions

AMSTERDAM – It started as a regular lunch for Amsterdam High School student Hector Martinez. At first, he wasn’t sure what was wrong with another student.

“He was turning red, and he was going like this,” he said, putting his hands to his throat. “And I’m like, ‘Oh, he’s choking,'” said Hector. “I saw him turning red, so that’s why I jumped in, and I did what I did. I came right behind him and I put my hands like this, and I did four of them, and he ended up spitting out all the fries.”

Amsterdam teenager helps choking student

An Amsterdam teenager is being recognized for rushing to help a choking student.

The other student sometimes has seizures. At first, Hector wasn’t sure if what he did was OK.

“I was nervous at the moment. I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing until I was brought to the office, and they told me it was a great job what you did and thank you. I was happy about it.”

Then Tuesday, he was awarded a Life Saving Certificate from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office that cites quick, decisive, and heroic action, potentially saving a life.

“I stepped up because I didn’t see anyone stepping up. So I was like OK, I’m going to step up. Because I’m just not going to let someoneā€¦ even though I didn’t know what I was doing. The only reason why I knew was because I watch a TV show called Chicago Med!” he said.

Despite no official training, Hector made a difference, and he took action when it counted.

He said being able to help someone else brings him joy.

“I was happy because it was like that was my first time ever doing something, so I was proud of myself that I stepped in, and I did what I did,” said Hector.

Hector was so inspired, he’s already talked to a school principal about learning CPR and other emergency aid.