VAN WERT, Ohio (WANE) – Craig King, captain for the Van Wert Fire Department, joined dozens of other firefighters who were in fire training in Youngstown, Ohio last week. The end of his lunch break last Tuesday would be the moment he would save a young girl’s life.
King was having lunch with other firefighters from the training. After lunch, he went back to his hotel room to grab his materials to head back to class. He was going back to class when he realized he left his phone.
“I left my cell phone,” said King. “I traveled back to the hotel, went up and got my phone and came back. Got in traffic, pulled behind a car in traffic and that’s when I noticed the commotion in front of me.”
He was at the intersection of South Ave. and Route 224 in Youngstown. King was witnessing two parents jumping out of their car to head to the backseat. King said he didn’t realize what the parents were doing, until they pulled out their young daughter who had a blue and purple face.
“I immediately jumped out the car and ran up to the father and took the girl from his hands and told him, ‘I’m a paramedic, I could help, what’s wrong.’ And he said, ‘she was choking.'”
Boardman Township fire officials said King gave the toddler three slaps on the back before the object came out the child’s mouth. She was choking on a chicken nugget.
“EMS unit coming to support the fire department was about eight minutes out,” said Chief George Brown, of Boardman Township Fire Department. “The whole situation, just as fate had it, had Capt. King in the right spot at right time.”
Boardman fire officials and Trustees honored King with a proclamation and token for his heroic actions last week.