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Mahopac Falls Firefighter Kevin Norton Receives Lifesaving Award

Second Asst. Chief Bob Trace, Chief Jeff Boyle, Firefighter Kevin Norton and First Asst. Chief Brian Sacher during a special ceremony to present Norton with a certificate of merit for saving his grandfather.
Second Asst. Chief Bob Trace, Chief Jeff Boyle, Firefighter Kevin Norton and First Asst. Chief Brian Sacher during a special ceremony to present Norton with a certificate of merit for saving his grandfather. Photo Credit: Mahopac Falls Fire Department

MAHOPAC, N.Y. -- Mahopac Falls Firefighter Kevin Norton found himself in an unusual situation recently when he had to save a member of his own family.

For that deed, Norton received a Certificate of Merit on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at the annual meeting of the fire department for saving his grandfather's life when he was choking on food.

According to Norton, he was home on Saturday, Oct. 8, when he heard his mother screaming. He walked into the other room to find his grandfather choking, with his airway completely blocked and in total panic.

Norton yelled to his mother to call 911 and began to make a plan. Making sure County Dispatch was notified to have the Falls ambulance respond, he checked his grandfather's airway again and found there was still no air moving.

He then got his father to support the older man while he got in position to administer the Heimlich maneuver. On the first compression, Norton managed to dislodge a small piece of food, but not enough to clear his grandfather's airway.

He then  proceeded to administer a few more compressions and dislodged enough food for his grandfather to begin breathing on his own again.

When questioned as to his heroic deed, Norton shrugged and said that he was going to give Camille Lapadula, who taught the first aid class where he learned the technique "a big hug".

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