Comcast technician saves woman with Heimlich maneuver

Jim Shipley

Jim Shipley

It’s quick action, a thrust to breathe new life.

Eva Buhl was having lunch at the Hibachi Buffet in Auburn last month when she began to choke on a piece of food.

A tall man came to the rescue.

Knowing what to do, Jim Shipley swiftly performed the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the obstruction so that the 70-year-old Orting woman could catch her breath.

“He literally saved my life,” Buhl said.

Shipley was having lunch with friends when he heard the commotion. When he realized the woman was struggling to breathe, he put the CPR training he’d gained on the job to work.

Shipley calmly and successfully performed the Heimlich, applying upward thrusts while pressing on the abdomen, just under the sternum.

Her airway cleared, Buhl was grateful afterward.

“She asked me if I was a paramedic,” Shipley said of the episode. “I told her, ‘no, I work for Comcast.’”

Buhl was so moved by the actions she personally reached out to Comcast to tell her story.

“I just thought you should know that the CPR training you gave him paid off big time,” Buhl said. “He knew just how to perform the maneuver, and he deserves some recognition of some kind.”

Shipley, a 16-year veteran technician with Comcast Washington, has taken frequent company-provided medical and safety courses to refresh his skills. Shipley encourages others to learn CPR and general first-aid skills.

He has successfully performed the Heimlich before – on his son – who was choking on a piece of food.

Such emergency training ultimately pays off.

“You see on the news sometimes where someone actually choked and died,” Shipley said. “You think, ‘wow, that should be preventable.’”

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