The Lunchroom Heroes

It was a lunch no one at Griffin Creek Elementary in Medford, Ore., will soon forget. Especially not nine-year-old Harrison Weidman and his Buddy Dominic Ramos.

Witnesses say it started when Harrison forgot to chew a tortilla chip.

As one described: "He took a bite of his nachos and he was choking."

"But the girls though he was joking," another student said.

But he was choking. Or joking.

Dominic and Harrison say it's like that story, The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

Apparently Harrison is known for making this one particular funny face. His face turns red when he does it. He demonstrated for CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman.

"Your face is turning red right now," Hartman said. "How are you doing that?"

"I hold my breath and then push," Harrison said.

Which is why everyone at the table was laughing the day Harrison started choking - for real. Everyone but his best friend, who knew something just wasn't right.

"He was [making odd noises] like he could breathe in but he couldn't breathe out," Dominic said.

So he did the Heimlich maneuver.

Dominic had learned the technique from his grandpa. And would you believe …

"The chip came out," one student said.

"Once they saw the chip coming out they were just like, wow, he just saved his life!" another explained.

"I just started crying because I thought Harrison was going to die and it scared me," one girl said.

Does she like Harrison?

"Yes, he's fun," she said.

Is he her boyfriend?

"No!" the girl said.

After the rescue Dominic got a citation from the local fire department - and a gaggle of groupies that seems to follow him everywhere.

"Do I even know you?" he said to one of the people following him.

"No," the straggler said.

What do people say in school now?

"They're always calling us hero and ..." Dominic said.

"Victim," Harrison finished.

Unfortunately, aside from having his life saved, Harrison has gotten very little out of the deal. Not that he's tired of hearing about it, but during Dominic's interview he was checking the elasticity of his eyelid - both eyelids actually - and generally appeared to be done with it.

On the bright side, both boys agree the experience has brought them even closer. And they have certainly raised awareness for First Aid training.

Hartman told Harrison he thinks he is a hero just for telling the story.

"Really?" Harrison said. "Cool!"

Dominic agreed.

Two heroes, now with one undying friendship.

  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.