Off-duty Paramedic Rushes to Save 13 yr old from Choking

Off-duty Paramedic Rushes to Save 13 yr old from Choking

Peachland Ambulance Paramedic Quinn Gallagher is being applauded as a hero after saving the life of a 13-year-old girl who was choking on a water bottle cap in Penticton Tuesday afternoon.

Quinn was off-duty in Penticton with his real estate agent. They were on Main Street, just about to go for lunch, when he heard a loud scream from a woman in a nearby parked vehicle.  

His paramedic instincts kicked in and he went to investigate what was happening. He quickly realized there was something significant going on. A mother was holding her daughter, who wasn’t passing any air and turning blue. Quinn describes that he could tell she was choking on something.

His training kicked in and per Quinn “I gave her three j-thrusts (Heimlich maneuver) and it partially released the obstruction.” Once the cap was partially dislodged, Quinn recognized the young girl was able to breathe on her own.

Quinn realized the young girl had been choking for at least a minute or more by time he got to her side and was starting to go limp. As a Paramedic knows acutely how valuable every minute is in these emergencies and that within minutes, the outcome could have been much different.

The young girl quickly expelled the cap and was further treated by our Paramedics and taken to Penticton Regional Hospital to get checked out.

Quinn later heard from the family who said the young girl is back with her family and is doing much better. Quinn felt he did what any other person would do in the circumstances and was really just glad he was there at the right time.

This situation highlights the importance of safety and CPR training, the Ambulance Paramedics and Dispatchers of BC encourage all that can to educate or take CPR training – you too can save a life and make a difference.

On behalf of over 4500 Ambulance Paramedics and Dispatchers around the Province, Thank you Quinn!