Police officer in Rowan County saves woman from choking at BBQ restaurant

North Carolina

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — It’s a perfect example of ‘right place, right time.’

Landis Police Officer Buddy Porter Jr. was on his lunchbreak at Stringbean’s BBQ when he noticed another customer struggling to breathe. After performing the Heimlich maneuver, he saved her life.

Stringbean’s Owner Dawne Stafford says at her restaurant, everyone is family.

“We do have a lot of regular, loyal customers, and we want them to all feel like family when they’re here,” she said.

So, on Friday afternoon when a woman started choking, Stafford knew Officer Porter Jr., who was sitting just a few tables away, would know exactly what to do.

“She was really panicked. I obviously knew what was going on, so I jumped up and spun her around, wrapped my arms around her, and done the Heimlich,” said Officer Porter Jr.

The maneuver was successful and saved the woman’s life.

“She was…she was running out of air,” said Officer Porter Jr. “We train a lot. We’re trained to stay calm, so when it was done, I went and sat down and finished my lunch.”

The incident gained a lot of attention on social media. A Town of Landis Public Safety Facebook post about the officer’s efforts has been shared more than 220 times. Officer Porter Jr. says he’s shocked.

“This is what we’re trained to do. This is what we’re paid to do. I didn’t do anything any different than any other emergency personnel would have done,” he said. “Everybody in emergency services deserves recognition.”

Perhaps it’s a run-of-the-mill day for an emergency responder, but for us, it’s a reminder about the heroes that walk among us.

“It was pretty awesome. We don’t give our officers or our EMS workers or any of those people the credit they deserve,” said Stafford.

Officer Porter Jr. has worked in the police and fire services for 22 years. He says this is the first time he has ever performed the Heimlich maneuver.

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