Naperville North student gets NFD award for life-saving actions

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Naperville North High School student Jackson Teran was presented with the Fire Chief’s Citizen Award on Friday for saving a man from choking. Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli and Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis surprised the student with the award at school during class.

“From time to time what we do in the fire department is we give out a Fire Chief’s Citizen Award for people who either contribute to or are the prime source of saving a life, and that’s what happened over here,” said Naperville Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis.

Naperville North High School student saves man from choking

On Dec. 3. Teran was working a shift as a busboy at Carnivore & The Queen, a restaurant in Downers Grove. On just his fourth day on the job, he found himself making a life-changing decision.

“I saw a man choking, so I went over to him and asked if he was okay. He shook his head no, and then he stood up, so I gave him the Heimlich,” said Teran.

Though it was a difficult situation to be in, Teran reacted quickly enough to perform the life-saving maneuver. 

“I was sort of in shock. Like, is this really happening? And that’s really all I felt, but then after I was like, oh my goodness, I saved him from choking,” said Teran.

Jackson Teran is recognized for his actions

Naperville city officials praised his instincts and response.

“I got to tell you, it’s just great to see that, and you are an inspiration to others. To see somebody that was choking that certainly could have lost their life if you didn’t do what you did, you don’t know what the outcome would’ve been. But we know what the outcome was right now, and you saved a life. Because of that, we give out an award. I don’t give this out a lot, but we do when it’s deserving and it truly is deserving today,” said Puknaitis. “It is my pleasure to present this award to you, Congratulations.”

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