Airman's quick action saves a life
By Lila Edwards, Nellis AFB Public Affairs
/ Published December 08, 2006
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. --
An Airman has saved the life of a guest at the Nellis Inn.
Senior Airman Chris Alls, 99th Services Squadron front desk clerk, was on the midnight shift at the Nellis Inn when he received a frantic call from a retired Air Force technical sergeant, who said his bride of two days, Elva, was choking and unable to breathe.
John Kimball and his wife checked into the Inn two days earlier for a visit with friends from his prior assignment on the base, and to get married in Las Vegas.
"Mr. Kimball told me which room they were in, and I took off up the stairs to see if there was anything I could do," said Airman Alls. "I had no idea what the problem was, but could hear how distressed he was and assumed they were in difficulty."
Airman Alls arrived to find Mrs. Kimball choking. Mr. Kimball, who is a quadriplegic and unable to help, explained Mrs. Kimball had just eaten breakfast, including toast which had apparently lodged somewhere in her esophagus.
"I immediately called the Security Forces Squadron and asked to be patched into the 99th Medical Group emergency room to let them know we had a guest in distress, and to get guidance from them and requested they respond," said the Airman.
"I realized that Mrs. Kimball needed immediate assistance so I took her into the restroom, and as she leaned over, I performed the Heimlich maneuver on her to see if I could help her dislodge whatever it was clogging her breathing. I was amazed and so darned relieved when I saw a piece of toast fly out of her mouth," he said.
When asked where he had learned the Heimlich maneuver, the Airman said he was first introduced to it when he was a Boy Scout as an 11-year-old.
"Every Airman is required to take self-aid-buddy care, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation classes are available, but I'm really glad I learned that method a long time ago," he pointed out.
Mrs. Kimball was transported to the hospital for a further check by medical personnel and was released shortly after the incident.
Mr. Kimball related his deep gratitude to Airman Alls for his quick-thinking actions, saying they will always be grateful for the assistance everyone provided. They have since returned to Texas to begin their new life.