Former Knox commissioner, assistant principal saves choking student

By: Nick Bona
By: Nick Bona

Knox County (WVLT) – A Knox County assistant principal and former member of the county council is being called a hero after a lunch time incident in the Gresham Middle School cafeteria.

Chuck Bolus declined to talk on camera, but he did tell us about what happened.

The school system says an alert Bolus saved a Gresham student from choking by giving the Heimlich maneuver.

Bolus said he was in the cafeteria helping a worker open some cleaning supplies when some students began yelling for help.

That’s when he noticed the student with their hand’s around their throat, giving the choking sign.

The assistant principal then sprang to action, performing the Heimlich maneuver on the student to clear their airway.

Bolus preformed two abdominal thrusts but the student was still unable to breath.

When he preformed a third abdominal thrust, a piece of chicken that was lodged in the students throat shot straight out, and the student was able to breath again.

The student was checked out in the school clinic.

Bolus said he shouldn’t be considered a hero because he was just doing what he and the rest of the staff are trained to do in case of emergency.

Gresham Middle School has around 810 students.

Bolus represented Knox County’s second district after he was appointed to take over for his term-limited predecessor, Billy Tindell.

Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 13716877 -
Gray Television, Inc.