Whitesburg KY

Learning the Heimlich maneuver

During wartime, the base printing department was always working 24/7. We had over 20 printers working our shop at this time.

One morning I took seven of them to a coffee shop on base for coffee and doughnuts. We were sitting four to a table.

My first sergeant, who had worked with me years, was chewing on ice cubes. He had one of the cubes lodged in his throat. No one in the coffee shop knew what to do to help the poor man. He turned blue in the face and fell to the floor and died right in front of us before the ambulance and crew we called could get there.

This hurt and bothered myself and the rest of my young men for a very long time. We could never understand why we could not save his life.

I jumped up and ran to him as soon as he stood up and started pointing to his neck, and started hitting him on his back to try and dislodge the ice cube. I was told later by one of my men that he always chewed on ice cubes.

Not long after all this happened, I got in touch with the hospital and asked them to send me someone who knew the Heimlich maneuver to teach it to my printers.

They were glad to help out and over the next few days everyone in that print shop learned all the needed to know about the Heimlich maneuver. My headquarters found out what we were doing in the print shop and made it an order that someone in every office would know this maneuver.

After I retired from the military and went to work for Syar Industries, all the employees in the main offi ce were taught the Heimlich maneuver.

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