FITCHBURG — Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early made an appearance at the Longsjo Middle School to recognize the work of a quick-thinking Fitchburg police officer who saved the life of an 11-year-old girl.
On Friday, June 3, Early joined other local officials at Longsjo Middle School to award Officer Steven Hachey with the “District Attorney’s Team Excellence and Merit TEAM Award.”
On March 2nd, Officer Hachey was in the cafeteria of the middle school around lunchtime, working his usual assignment as school resource officer, when Jean Sprague, 11, approached him with a face covering, unable to speak.
According to a press release from the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office, when Officer Hachey instinctively asked if the girl was choking, she pointed to her throat, nodding yes. The officer then quickly performed the Heimlich maneuver on the girl, dislodging a piece of breadstick that had obstructed her airway.
“Officer Hachey instinctively knew this young girl was in distress and reacted without hesitation,” said Early. “This student was just enjoying her lunch at school, like any other day, and because of this officer a possible tragedy was avoided.”
Early created the TEAM Award in 2019 to recognize public safety employees, like Officer Hachey, who go above and beyond the call of duty.
“It was an honor to recognize the exceptional work that Officer Hachey did, not only that day but every day, just like all of our resource officers,” Fitchburg Police Chief Ernest Martineau said. “I feel there is no greater community engagement than what happens each and every day between our school resource officers and the student body. I am grateful that we are able to provide a robust school resource officer program here in the city of Fitchburg.”