A 10-year-old was lauded on Thursday for showing great composure under pressure in a recent incident in which he, with some help via telephone instructions from firefighters, saved his 94-year-old great-grandfather from choking to death by using the Heimlich maneuver.
The incident took place on the evening of Jan. 22 when Huang Sung-feng (黃崧灃), the on-duty officer at the fire department in Nantou County’s Mingjian Township (名間), received an emergency call.
Lin Keng-lien (林耕廉), a fourth-grader at the Sinjie Elementary School, told Huang that his great-grandfather had lost consciousness after choking while eating a piece of yam from a bowl of rice porridge.
Huang dispatched the department’s ambulance to the boy’s house, while giving him instructions over the phone on how to perform the Heimlich maneuver.
Huang said he told the boy to lift his great-grandfather onto his bed, then wrap his arms around his abdominal area and press inward.
Lin said he remembered a demonstration given by firefighters who came to his school to teach cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) lessons, which helped him perform the emergency maneuver properly.
Within two minutes of performing the maneuver, Lin said his great-grandfather regained consciousness.
At about the same time, the ambulance arrived. The emergency workers gave the elderly man a warm-up massage and some medical treatment before sending him to the hospital for follow-up treatment. Lin’s great-grandfather has since recovered.
“I was fully concentrated on trying to save my great-grandfather. The uncle on the telephone encouraged me and gave good instructions, so I was not nervous at the time,” Lin said on Thursday.
Officials at the fire department praised the fourth-grader’s actions and quick thinking.
Demonstrations at schools to teach CPR and the Heimlich maneuver would continue so that children can learn how to respond adequately in emergency situations to save lives, they said.
Lin’s teacher said his parents both work in another city, so he spends a lot of time with his 94-year-old great-grandfather and his two grandparents who are in their 70s.
Lin has shown maturity and astuteness far beyond his years, his teacher said.