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Video: Police officer saves life of choking woman

by Jacquelyn Gray, Contributor

A University of Central Florida (UCF) police officer’s quick thinking saved the life of a choking colleague Wednesday.

Surveillance video captured a UCF employee point to her throat in a state of panic. Though another co-worker attempted to help, Officer Julie Wilk jumped into action, quickly administering the Heimlich maneuver while calling it in on her radio, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Seconds later, the employee is seen breathing normally. WTSP reported she didn’t require additional treatment.

“Sometimes these things are violent, but the only way to get those obstructions cleared sometimes is to use a lot of pressure and energy to make that happen,” UCF Police Chief Richard Beary told WESH. The officer mentioned he has used the life-saving maneuver on several occasions.

Beary also explained that officers receive training on how to control bleeding, administer the Heimlich maneuver and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Wilk has been with the UCF Police Department (UCFPD) since 2011.

“Though UCFPD officers do great things all the time, it was especially meaningful for a female officer to save another woman’s life on International Women’s Day,” spokesperson Courtney Gilmartin told the Sentinel.

The incident also occurred during “Safe Knight Week,” when the University holds events and training which educate students how to keep themselves and others safe.

Choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional injury resulting in death, according to the National Safety Council (NSC) Injury Facts 2017. The organization found 5,051 people died from choking in 2015.

Gilmartin said she hoped this story encourages more people to learn how to administer the Heimlich maneuver and seek CPR certification.

[Feature Photo: University of Central Florida Police Department (UCFPD)]

Jacquelyn Gray is a New Jersey-based writer and journalist. When she's not covering crime, she's probably tweeting or doing yoga.