CHANDLER, Ariz. - A Chandler Police officer was caught on camera in the right place, and at the right time when a man started choking on food.
Body-cam video released by the department on Monday shows the officer springing into action, performing the Heimlich maneuver on the man near Arizona Avenue and the Loop 202 freeway on June 24, eventually dislodging the food from the man's throat – and saving his life.
"He was found to be choking on food, blocking his windpipe," police said in a tweet. "Our officer did the Heimlich, saving his life."
Police say the man is doing OK.
Right place, right time
"You have to be ready to go. When that bell rings, it's go time and fortunately enough, I was in the right place at the right time," said Officer Adam Hayes.
Hayes was on his shift Thursday driving near Loop 202 and Arizona Avenue when he noticed a man was in distress. He pulled over to check it out.
"I can't tell exactly what was going on, but I want to go time to him, see what it is. It looks out of sorts. As I got closer, I got out of my car and I go to talk to him, as I approach him, he's grasping at his neck."
Officer Hayes quickly realized the man was choking. He called for help, but knew he couldn't wait.
For the first time ever, Hayes put his Heimlich maneuver training to use. After a few attempts, what was stuck in the man's airway finally broke free.
"He said I was having a hot dog and it got stuck in the wrong pipe kind of thing and he was very thankful. Expressed a lot of gratitude to me. It was nice, but at the same time I didn't feel like I did anything special. But he was very profused with his praise and said ‘Hey man, I appreciate you saving my life.' Which that's why I do this. It's part of the difference I want to make," Hayes said.
Hayes is hoping this will be an example to others of not being afraid to ask someone if they need help.
"If you see something and you think it's out of place or out of sorts or somebody needs help, go up and find out. Maybe they don't. Maybe this guy was fine, he was chasing a bee or something to that effect, but you never know that one opportunity that you could be placed in the position to help somebody."
- Arizona man indicted on charges in West Valley drive-by shootings
- Maricopa County investigates 53 deaths during June heat wave
- Arizona House approves criminal justice reform measure
Tune in to FOX 10 Phoenix for the latest news:
Get breaking news alerts in the FREE FOX 10 News app. Download for Apple iOS or Android.