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OSAGE, IA – One north Iowa Sheriff put some valuable skills he learned on the job to use and saved someone’s life, it all happened while he was off-duty.
Mitchell County Sheriff Greg Beaver says he wouldn’t consider himself a hero after saving a man from choking. He simply says he was at the right place at the right time and says his years of training paid off.
“I first noticed it was because one of our county employees said, look you need to help him.”
Sheriff Beaver explains what happened that day he performed the Heimlich maneuver on a man who was choking.
“About as quick as I began to observe him his hands went to his throat and then I knew it was totally obstructed and it was time to try something to help him,” he explains.
He was attending a banquet that recognized dispatchers from different counties in Iowa when a Floyd County dispatcher sitting at his table started to choke.
Beaver says in his 25-years in law enforcement he’s never had to save someone from choking, on or off duty, but he was thankful that all his years of training kicked in.
“You never know where you’re going to be who you’re going to be with, you might be the only person around,” says Mary Smith.
Smith is a CPR instructor and says this is just one example that shows how important it is for folks to learn these life saving skills.
She has been CPR certified since she was 16-years old, and has actually had to save someone who was choking on food.
“They just started choking and you just go up and helped him out,” says Smith.
She says it’s never too early or too late to learn these maneuvers
“From every age it’s very important, it’s getting more and more street wise on how to do it, simpler even so that you can start right away if you see someone going down it’s better to do something than nothing,” she continues.
Meanwhile, Sheriff Beaver was surprised last week with the Charles City Police Departments life saving award, and the man he saved was there to present him the award.
“Obviously he was very thankful but so was I that it went well for him and just very appreciative of somebody doing something and I know that others would have I just happened to be there first,” adds Beaver.
Sheriff Beaver goes through training every 2 years to stay CPR certified, but that kind of training is available to anyone.