Pre Heimlich Maneuver

by Jack Keegan


On Friday evenings a group of us would gather in the Engine #16 fire house, as Harp Fagan explained the workings of that venerable old work horse the AhrensFox pumper. I'm sure that some of you remember it, with it's gleaming nickel plated round ball perched up front.

Soon an examination for the Newark Fire Department would take place and Harp was spending time trying to give info to us civilians on the workings of this apparatus. He spent many hours explaining where pieces of equipment were stored and how each one worked. Where the five inch suction line was connected and how the deck gun operated. Checked out the many levers and handles that were used in running the 1500 GPM pump.

When the instruction period was over the gang drifted next door to Gough's Candy store, our local hangout. Here everyone ordered their favorites, cherry Coke, ice cream sundaes etc. I had selected a candy bar containing peanuts, part way through eating eat it a nut lodged in my throat. Unable to breath, I pointed to my throat and at first no one seemed to realize my predicament. Finally Art Heinrich was the first one to comprehend what my problem was. Getting behind me he took both of my arms and jerked them violently towards my backbone. That was the trick, it expelled the air from my chest and forced the peanut from my throat. I was now able to breath again.

With this pre Heimlich maneuver, where ever he learned it, Art saved my life. All my life I have thanked Art for that act. May he rest in peace.


Email this memory to a friend.
Enter recipient's e-mail: