CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — Some quick thinking by Carl Junction’s police chief saves the life of an elderly woman.
Police Chief, Mark McCall and his wife, Laura were having dinner at Flat Creek in Springfield over Memorial Day weekend, when Mark’s life-saving training from law enforcement, kicked in.
“I walked by a table and there was an elderly lady with her head bent forward, and her son was telling her to lean back. I thought that was kind of weird, but I walked on by and sat down at my table. When I got to my table, I turned around to see what was going on and they were pulling her out of the booth and trying to get her to stand up. That’s when I knew something was very wrong,” said McCall.
McCall says once he realized the woman was choking, he quickly went over to their table, grabbed the woman from behind, and started the Heimlich maneuver.
“Whatever it was in her throat that she was choking on, started coming out. Then she started breathing normally and was able to talk,” said McCall.
As a precaution, the elderly woman was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.
“Once she was able to talk, I knew she was going to be okay, especially after she made a joke, saying, ‘the food must have not been very good which is why I was chocking on it.’ Hearing her make a little joke about the ordeal actually helped to calm everyone down, especially her family who were glad to see her in good spirits,” said McCall.
Aside from those sitting at the table where the woman was choking, McCall said he was the first person in the restaurant to react to the situation — something he attributes to his training on-the-job.
“I’ve been in situations before where I’ve had to administer CPR, or first-aid. For more than 30 years of being in this profession — when you see something you’ve been trained to react to, you just react.” said McCall.
McCall said the situation is a perfect example of just how important it is for everyone to know basic first-aid, including how to properly perform CPR and the Heimlich maneuver.
“I honestly believe that all adults should take it. I mean, we’re out in society a lot and things happen. You never know — it could happen to someone you know or maybe a complete stranger. But I think everybody should take a basic first-aid and CPR course, because you never know when that training may be needed — especially when there isn’t a first responder around,” said McCall.