Don Bell, an Anderson County School Board member, used his Red Cross training and the Heimlich maneuver to save the life of Gail Martin, a former School Board member, during a recent meal at Applebee’s in Oak Ridge.
Bell was honored by the Anderson County Board of Education on Thursday. He has also been recognized at Anderson County Commission meetings.
On Thursday, Bell said Martin choked on a piece of steak during the meal at Applebee’s about a month-and-a-half ago. She grabbed her throat and started turning blue, Bell said.
Bell had taken Red Cross training near the end of his career at Oak Ridge Schools. He is certified in CPR and the Heimlich maneuver, an emergency technique that uses abdominal thrusts to help clear someone’s airway.
“The training was so good, it was just automatic,” Bell said. “It was just a reaction.”
Bell said he did about eight thrusts using the Heimlich maneuver.
After the piece of steak came out, Martin was fine, Bell said, and she didn’t have to go to the hospital.
Bell, an Oak Ridge resident, represents District 7 on the Anderson County Board of Education.
Martin is a former School Board member who served 23 years on the BOE before serving about two years as administrator of the Anderson County Election Commission.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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