State police honor Blue Ridge students who helped choking woman

State police honor Blue Ridge students who helped choking woman

FARMER CITY — What could have been one tragedy on top of another was averted when some alert Blue Ridge High School students helped a woman who was choking after a funeral service for fallen state Trooper Ryan Albin last summer.

They were honored this week by the Illinois State Police for their life-saving efforts.

"While we were there, one of the surviving mothers of another fallen officer began to choke in the teachers' lounge. There were some student workers on site, and one gave her the Heimlich maneuver," said Sgt. Kim Cessna of the Illinois State Police. The incident occurred when lunch was served for some of the participants after the funeral.

While 2017 Blue Ridge graduate Cory Jayne cleared her airway, other students ran to the school's library for help, bringing back a paramedic who was on site. The woman was transported to an area hospital as a precautionary measure, but fully recovered.

The students involved — Matt Isaacs, Luke Clancy, Adam Cheek and Jayne — were given certifications of recognition Monday at the high school. Jayne is now a freshman at Augustana College, where he is studying to be an orthopedic surgeon.

"I was glad that they were there and they did the right thing, and kept their composure," said Cessna, who also volunteers with Concerns of Police Survivors.

Albin, 37, also a Blue Ridge graduate, died in a two-vehicle crash last summer while on duty on Interstate 74 near Farmer City. Gov. Bruce Rauner was among the 600 in attendance at the funeral last July, with an estimated 500 police cars helping escort Albin's body to its final resting place in the Bellflower Township Cemetery.