GASTONIA, N.C. (WJZY) — A school resource officer was honored Tuesday night by Gaston County officials for a pair of recent heroic efforts. 

Bessemer City High School Athletic Director Billy James was the first recipient of Officer Jeff Thompson’s actions. According to a county proclamation, on Aug. 28, James injured his leg from an accident during a turf management class, and Thompson administered first aid to stop the bleeding. 

Then on Sept. 8, James prevented a Bessemer City student from choking by performing the Heimlich maneuver until her airways were cleared. 

“His actions proved vital in these emergencies, and his dedication and care for others proudly reflect the highest ideals of the Gaston County Police Department and fellow law enforcement officers in North Carolina, the United States, and abroad,” the proclamation reads. 

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Thompson said that after the choking incident, that he helped Bessemer City High School acquire a free LifeVac device. The equipment uses negative pressure to assists in chocking incidents.

All Gaston County Schools have police officers serving them. Council member Bob Hovis gave his gratitude for the board’s action and the SRO’s presence. 

“We appreciate the commitment Gaston County Schools has made,” Hovis said. “We’re proactive and not reactive. Gaston County has always wanted to do that. This entire board has made sure we funded that process.”