Written by Deanna Toncray, Executive Administrative Assistant

At Dot Foods, safety is always top of mind. Whether you are behind the wheel of a Dot truck, working in the warehouse, or hanging out in the break room, safety is always on our minds. 

In late August, during a typical meal period in the breakroom at Dot Foods Tennessee, Warehouse Lead Dylan Speer had a life-threatening experience while eating lunch.

“Some spaghetti lodged in my throat,” Speer said. “Typically, a drink of water or swallowing hard moves food on, but not this time.”

Struggling to breathe, Speer moved back slightly from the table. As in most breakrooms during a meal period, there’s lots of noise and activity, so someone choking may go unnoticed at first.

Fortunately, sitting nearby was Warehouse Trainer Cam Ward, who happened to observe that Speer appeared to be struggling to breathe.

Without hesitation, Ward grabbed Speer and locked his hands around his sternum and immediately started squeezing as hard as he could. “It took four or five tries to dislodge the food from Speer’s throat, and it seemed like it took forever,” Ward said.

This was the first time Ward had ever administered the Heimlich maneuver to a choking victim, though he had once witnessed his grandmother do it.

“I was very lucky Ward was there,” said Speer. “He usually leaves on lunch break, but thankfully he ate at Dot that day and saw me choking.”

Thank you, Cam, for stepping up to the plate and keeping an eye out for your team!

How to do the Heimlich Maneuver

Check out this article by Healthline about how to do the Heimlich maneuver. Maybe one day you could save a life, too. 

Looking for more education?

Talk to you manager or HR manager about bringing CPR and First Aid training to your location.

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