PARKLAND, FL- As he headed to bed after a long shift, Coral Springs firefighter/paramedic Alain Jerez heard a pounding on his station’s door.

It was close to 10:30 pm on Saturday, and a woman in her 50s was motioning for help.

“She was on her knees and couldn’t talk,” Jerez said.

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Turned out, she was choking and had driven herself to the city’s Station 71 at 11800 NW 41 Street, where Jerez was based.

Jerez rushed to her side, giving her the Heimlich maneuver, which cleared her lungs and helped pushed out the object stuck her in her throat.

With the help of the station’s lieutenant and another firefighter/paramedic, Jerez said they put the woman on a stretcher and helped her catch her breath. 

When she finally spoke, she told them she had a carrot stuck in her throat, and so she drove to the station from her nearby home, Jerez said.

Eventually, she left, thanking the crew for saving her.

“If we didn’t intervene, she would have gotten much worse,” said Jerez, 27, who is about two weeks away from completing his first year of service as a firefighter/paramedic. “It felt great to help her. She needed help and we were here for her.”


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